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Cara Mia Ciao (70)

1 .

This is a prequel to Sniper’s Lovely Lady (found here: http://tf2chan.net/afanfic/res/6496.html) I’m finally posting on here without my friend Gattling Gun doing it for me. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I’m having fun writing it. If there are mistakes it’s my fault, it’s my first time posting on here.

Crossover with Portal.

--

Cara Mia Ciao

The sun beat down on Sniper as he stared into his scope. It was a Saturday, and he was taking some time off to go camping in the great outdoors. Just him and the wild, sleepin’ under the stars like his ancestors. He had a tent set up in the desert and had been planning on sitting by the fire and plucking idly at his banjo.

Instead, he was staring at a deer.

The creature had to be a good ways off, small even in the eye of his scope. Sniper hadn’t seen much wildlife apart from the Medic’s doves—and a deer was even more peculiar. There had to be a water supply somewhere, a pond or a stream. Sniper grimaced and swore under his breath. Damn his curiosity.

He put out the fire until all that was left was smoldering coals. Sniper packed lightly, binoculars and his rifle… there was no such thing as being too careful. He adjusted his aviators and set off to get a better layout of the wildlife.

::::

A mile later, Sniper’s boot hit grass. He had a canteen to keep himself hydrated, so he knew he wasn’t hallucinating. The deer he’d seem scampered away into the brush. The vegetation was thick and wild, and Sniper tread quietly as he ventured deeper into the out-of-control forest.

He turned when a bird, a raven, flew across the setting sun. His back hit something hard and he jumped, whirling around to see a wall. Sniper blinked and brushed moss and leaves away to reveal a decaying building. Squinting in the fading light, he read chipped paint, the words almost forever.

“Aperture Science.” Sniper shrugged and peeked around the corner to see that the door had been out of commission for a while now. “Don’t mind me, sirs.” Sniper snickered as he stepped inside. “Just explorin.’”

No one answered him and Sniper stepped carefully over broken glass and fallen bits from the walls and ceiling. For a science building, it had definitely seen better days.

The top floor wasn’t anything special, and Sniper was about to head on back to the campsite when he found a door… and stairs. The smell of mold and moisture wasn’t as strong in the stairwell. Sniper adjusted his rifle, the strap a constant pressure on his shoulder. He was careful on the stairs—they creaked but nothing broke so far.

He was a level down when he heard a voice.

”Hello?” Sniper froze, instincts having him swing his gun around, ready to fight and run in a matter of seconds. “Hello? Is anyone there?

With his heart beating loudly, he swore. Christ, there was a kid down there.

“I’m here.”

Sniper jumped down the last few stairs, feeling his way in the dark.

Hello?” The kid sounded so small. Sniper jogged toward the voice. “Could you come over here?

Sniper rounded the corner, expecting to see some scared kid—only to find himself caught in laser sighting. His eyes widened, seeing a white—thing, a robotic thing staring at him.

“Target acquired.”

Sniper’s eyes had time to widen before bullets were flying at him. He was hit, grazed on his left shoulder, and he ran, clutching his hat to his head as he managed to get behind a crumbling support beam. He watched the little red light hit the wall and then wander, searching for him.

“Blimey...”

Sniper heaved out a breath, pressing his palm against his bleeding shoulder. He tore his vest and tied the cloth over his wound. It wasn’t terribly serious, but since he had no idea when he’d make it out of there—or if he’d get hit again by whatever that thing was, it was better to nip the bleeding in the bud early.

“Are you still there?”

The voice made Sniper growl, but he wasn’t about to stick his head around the corner to give that thing a piece of his mind. With a slight sigh, Sniper grimaced and peered around the other side of the pillar. It was clear, and he got up and cautiously made his way deeper into the ruins of what used to be a science building.

::::

2 .

Oh my goodness, you're the one who's the author of those great fics that Gatling Gun posted?! Those were great, absolutely magnificent, and this looks to be pretty awesome too. Can't wait for the next chapter!

3 .

You have me waiting in anticipation!

4 .

I'm...I'm so proud of you, and you already know how much I am loving this~ I'm so happy I brought you over to this side of the fandom!

5 .

ooh, this is awesome.
can't wait to read more.
i especially love the mention of Sniper playing his banjo - that's been my head-canon ever since i watched this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVgXSB4_sTU

6 .

Thank you all for the kind words. It’s been a lot of fun putting this story together, so I hope you guys enjoy the updates. Fun fact, this is how it all started: (http://www.amazon.com/review/R1XYFRXMD0GPQC/)


Sniper smirked as sat on the rusted stairwell. There were four of those things below him, and apparently the little buggers couldn’t look up. He found a perfect snipin’ spot and smiled as he looked at the little robots through his scope.

Their design was unlike anything he’d ever seen. Even Engie’s sentry guns were never as clean looking and precise as what had taken a few shots at Sniper. Their white shells were clean and Sniper wasn’t sure what material they were made of, so he lowered his gaze to their little legs.

He squeezed off a rapid series of four shots in the span of a heartbeat and a half, and the four little robots below tipped over now that their legs were under attack. They fired until they were empty, and when the room fell silent Sniper allowed himself a small, satisfied huff of satisfaction.

Jogging down the stairs, Sniper walked among the ruins of the robots and kicked one with his boot.

“Not too deadly now, are ‘ya?” Sniper pulled out a cigarette and lit it; smoke curling out of his lips. “Little buggers.”

A loud hum made Sniper look up to see the wall on the far side of the room twitch, then lift to reveal a whole line of the little robots. Their laser sights zeroed in on him and Sniper’s mouth gaped, his cigarette falling to the floor.

“Bugger.”

More bullets flew and Sniper sprinted to the other side of the room, to a door. He twisted the knob; bullets making the metal spark around him as he shoved it open and fell inside, slamming it shut behind him.

Sniper took a breather, his back pressed against the door. He blinked and realized that the room he was in wasn’t musty and gray. It was stark white, sterile. It looked brand new. But that wasn’t the most alarming thing.

He wasn’t alone in the room.

Two robots stilled and were staring at him. They weren’t the same as before, these were much, much bigger. One was tall and long limbed with an orange eye; the other was spherical with stouter arms and legs with a blue eye. Sniper swung his rifle in front of him.

“Don’t move.” He licked his dry lips, staring at them. “I mean it.” The tall one, Orange, made a weird noise, like a cricket being electrocuted and it moved its hand at him, like it was waving. “I mean it. Don’t come any closer.”

For a brief moment, the robots seemed to be listening to him. Then Blue raised his hand and Sniper saw—a gun of some sort, and before he had time to flinch, Blue shot at the floor right next to Orange—a blue… puddle thing appearing. Sniper scrambled to stand, keeping his rifle trained on them when Orange aimed an identical weapon to the ceiling above him.

Sniper had time to look up, to see… a window… to see Blue—and then he whipped his head back to see Orange jump through the blue puddle and land right behind him.

What—what? Sniper turned to see Orange chirping at him before it swiped his hat and propelled up into the hole in the ceiling only to come up from the floor by its little friend. Sniper felt a wave of dizziness wash over him because… he honestly had no idea what had just occurred. Orange chirped, apparently delighted with its new, and bloody stolen hat.

“Oi!” Sniper didn’t give a damn if they had some weird puddle—portal things. There were just some things you didn’t do to a man, and one thing was to take a man’s hat. “Give that back!”

Orange shot an orange hole right next to the blue one, and then stepped in it, hovering as gravity would push Orange’s feet back up. It was bouncing… but not really.

Sniper was about to step forward to retrieve his hat, portals be damned, when the walls broke apart into separate, smaller panels, revealing a complex that was much better, bigger, and scarier.

“There you are. Stop fooling arou—”

A woman’s voice seemed to echo all around them. The two robots glanced up, like they were ashamed. Sniper just used their distraction to jump up and snatch his hat back. He had to cling to that one goal or else he’d lose his mind—he’d look too closely at the fact that his hat had been stolen by a robot and would have a nervous breakdown. The Orange bot let out a squawk of surprise and Sniper smirked and put the hat back on his head.

“I’ll be takin’ this back, mate.”

Sniper turned back toward the door, but the whole platform moved suddenly. He had to duck down so that he didn’t tumble over the edge. He shoved his aviators up the bridge of his nose and slung his rifle over his shoulder. There was a ledge, and he got up and jumped.

The weightlessness was a short relief of the craziness that Sniper was trapped in. He landed hard, his ankles stinging a bit but nothing that would slow him down. He turned and tipped his hat at Blue and Orange before running back into the darker, less… alive places of the facility.

::::

Sniper’s footfalls sounded like drums as he ran, keeping the walls at his back and trying to find a bloody stairwell. But the walls kept twitching, then breaking apart.

“You are not one of my test subjects.”

Another line of the little white bots was behind the wall, and Sniper had to seriously hustle to get out with only a few scratches. Their small voices were drivin’ him mad and he exhaled loudly, some blood leaking out of his arms.

“Damn right, miss.”

He didn’t stop for long. He swallowed, tasting copper and saw the stairwell. A wall slammed down in front of it.

“Are you here to kill me?”

Sniper almost laughed. He wiped his mouth with his sleeve and walked toward the only place were there were no panels blocking his way. He brought his rifle back out in front of him.

“I’ve got no quarrels with you, miss.” When he peeked around the corner, he was met with gunfire. He ducked back around, slipped some bullets into his hand, and went back out into the line of fire. Within seconds, the little buggers were all down. “Why don’t you come down and we’ll talk this out.” He stepped over bullet shells. “Face to face.” There was nothing waiting for him in the new corridor. “Maybe we could go on a date.”

A disgusted, electric sigh made the walls shudder.

“I liked it better when they didn’t talk.”

Sniper thought of the television sets and radios back on the base. Ovens, phones, and the Respawn machine that never once talked back or stole his hat. He licked his split lips.

“You and me both, darlin.”

When he turned back toward where the stairs were, he heard loud bangs of the panels coming apart, moving closer to his location. He kept walking and he heard the slight limp in his step. It was his right leg; a bullet had torn a nasty gash on his hip.

He was directed back into another stark white room. The walls folded away like they had last time, and he had time to feel blood running down his thigh before Blue and Orange landed in front of him.

Sniper backed up—and then realized that the adrenalin rush of seeing the two big robots had distracted him from the fact that the pretty lady had decided to move the room again. His foot landed on air, and the weight of his rifle and wounds dragged him down.

The world tipped out from under him, and he was falling—falling past wires and panels—

Blue jumped after him. There was no mistaking the action, as soon as Sniper fell, the round robot Blue leapt off after him like a bloody lunatic. Then again, it was a robot, so Sniper wasn’t sure the standards for robot sanity. He watched as the massive hunk of metal got close, and then it grabbed him. It shot its gun, and Sniper managed to turn his head in time to see them heading straight for a wall. He squeezed his eyes shut, expecting bone-shattering reality that would make him and Blue shatter to bits.

Except that didn’t happen. The blue portal appeared and they went through it—and were flying up instead of down. Sniper held on for dear life and Orange was suddenly hopping along with them. He was just trying his best not to be sick, weakly holding onto his hat as the bots took off, using their guns to keep themselves always moving and never falling to their death.

When they finally landed, Sniper’s whole body felt tingly and numb. It was the blood loss combined with the fact that he had just spent the last fifteen minutes defying every law of physics he was aware of. Blue set him down, and when Sniper swayed on his feet, he saw those metal hands reach for him.

“No.” Sniper held up his hand. “I’m good, mate, just give me a minute.”

Blue whirred but did as Sniper asked. Orange was walking along the narrow aisle that they managed to land on. Once Sniper got his head back in order, he straightened up. Blue let out a noise and followed Orange, beckoning Sniper to follow him.

Sniper looked behind him to see another nauseating drop-off. He turned and followed the two robots into, what seemed to be, a gigantic atrium. Not like he had any other choice.

7 .

This is a good example of a crossover done well! I'm absolutely fascinated. Cannot wait for more!

8 .

Oh, that link was great! I'm so happy it inspired you like this.

Also, very happy at the update. Though Sniper's dealing with all of these mind-boggling surprises better than most which is good and pretty realistic, considering some of the other crazy stuff he's been exposed to back at the base. I also like the slow build-up and the use of the moving panels to usher him around because why wouldn't she? It's also oddly exciting, since he's sort of at her mercy. I am so eager for more.

Though, I forgot to add earlier, Apeture Science is actually in Michigan canonically but I can easily overlook that for this fic. I like the almost dream-like quality involved, though I'm not sure what gives me that impression. I guess based on his initial entry via the sudden deer that drew him in like the white rabbit, through the sudden change in landscape, and down the rabbit hole leading to a broken down, mechanical Wonderland of sorts. I am very curious to see how they get together. The two-player bots, Atlas and P-Body, are adorable, btw.

9 .

I was skeptical at first, but I like this ! please do continue :)

10 .

Again, thank you for all the kind words. They mean the world to me. I’ve been writing like crazy, so here’s an update! I hope you enjoy it; all words of advice are welcome.

--

There were times in Sniper’s life when he’d get this feeling… like a cold breath fanning over the back of his neck that told him that something dangerous was coming. He’d gotten it when he’d taken his first bullet, and the one time he thought a safari would be a good idea and was, consequently, attacked by a lion. He killed it, of course, with his trusty knife, but the feeling had been the initial warning.

Chilly goose bumps were sprinkled over the back of his neck once he entered the atrium. The panels were the same type that made up the moving walls before. The lights were dimmed, but he could still see the blue and orange glow of his… well, he figured they were his companions now.

The lights went up, and Sniper felt every muscle in his body clench as a huge apparatus was revealed, a bright, robotic, yellow eye looking down at him. Sniper didn’t even raise his gun, his body ached that much. Instead, Orange took his hat from his head once more.

“Hey!” Sniper whirled around. “Give that back you cheeky bastard—”

A firm, cold hand stopped him, Blue making a soft but insistent noise. Sniper and Blue both turned to see Orange chirping with delight—and it appeared to be dancing. Sniper’s shoulders slumped when he realized that his whole bloody rescue had been for his hat.

It bloody figured.

“The loss of such a trivial accessory should be the least of your concern.”

There was that voice again, a low, sensual tone but for the life of him, Sniper couldn’t find the woman behind it—

His blood went cold and he looked up at the big yellow eye.

“Holy Dooley…”

Sniper felt his aviators slide down the bridge of his nose as he leaned back to get the whole picture of… of her. The walls moved slightly, just a slight, slow flutter. Almost like the room, like the machine that seemed to be connected to it all, was breathing. Sniper wanted to look around for an exit, for any sign of escape, but he couldn’t tear his gaze way from that eye.

“Consider yourself lucky.” Orange was still dancing with its new hat and Blue was chortling along. Sniper didn’t take his eyes off of the main, metallic body as it lowered slightly. “While the facility is still under repair, the means of killing you are… unfortunately, limited.”

Every breath Sniper took seemed to suck energy out of his limbs.

“That hardly seems polite.” He blinked, and even that motion was too slow for his liking. “We’ve only just met.” Sniper wiped blood from his mouth with the back of his hand. “Aren’t you going to ask for my name before you annihilate me, sweetheart?”

There was a long pause. Sniper wondered if he’d managed to surprise her, and then she made a noise of frustration.

“You’re getting blood on my floor.”

Sniper looked down and she was right. He could hear his mother’s voice scolding him, telling him to be polite to lovely young ladies. He wondered what she would say if the lovely young lady happened to be a massive computer.

“Sorry ‘bout that.”

He was so tired… and there was a hiss behind him. He turned lazily to see—a tube of some sort. Doors opened—and oh. It was an elevator.

“Vagrants aren’t worth my time.” If Sniper wasn’t bleedin’ so much he would have been offended. “Leave.” The metallic body turned toward Orange. “Give that filthy thing back to him.”

Orange made a pitiful sound, and Sniper waved it off.

“Keep it.” He laughed even though no one told a joke. “’Ya earned it.”

The yellow eye was on him again, and Sniper limped to the lift. It shot up, faster than any sort of elevator he’d been in, and when it opened the moon was disappearing and the very first flickers of sunlight were starting to come up over the horizon. He stepped out into the same, dirty and seemingly decayed science building. The deer from before looked up and scampered away—and Sniper figured he’d better get along to doing the same thing.

::::

“These are some very odd injuries.” The Medic rubbed his eyes, biting down a yawn. “What sort of things were you doing on your camping trip?”

Sniper grimaced as he watched his wounds seal up as the Medic ran his gloved fingers over Sniper’s wrist. He set the bones back where they should be and Sniper squeezed his eyes shut behind his aviators.

“Rowdy wildlife.” The Medic’s eyebrows rose, and even for the early hour Sniper wasn’t about to pull the sheets over the German’s eyes. “Really rowdy wildlife.”

He was lucky that none of the bullets from the little white bots actually hit him right on. But Sniper could tell that it wasn’t his cuts that captured the doctor’s attention… it was the bruises he had from holding onto Blue so tightly. The ways the bruises were distributed made sense for falling and rising—almost simultaneously.

Medic cleared his throat.

“Next time you feel like… interacting with this wildlife… don’t.”

Sniper gave the Medic a crooked smile.

“You got it, doc.”

It was odd… the whole experience seemed like a bizarre dream. His injuries were the only thing that assured him that it was real, well, that and the fact that his hat was gone. He’d just have to break in a new one.

Monday rolled around, and it was back to war. War was familiar, the bullets were from guns held by humans and death was temporary. It was long, like most days were, but Sniper was getting paid. At the end of the day, the BLUs lost and Sniper’s team felt it was a cause for celebration.

“That’s right!” Scout grabbed a beer. “We rule!” He snapped it open and a flood of fizzy alcohol sprayed into his face. “Aw, fuck!”

Heavy laughed, his whole body quaking with it as he set up a chess game with the Medic. Sniper stepped past the still swearing Scout and grabbed a sandwich before retiring to his camper quietly. He usually stayed for the proper dinner that Engie would make, but he just wasn’t up to it. He needed the comfort of his worn mattress—something familiar that would, in no way, remind him of robots and the alluring, unnatural voice of that… well, he couldn’t really call her a woman, now could he?

He ate the sandwich quickly and fell onto his bed, managing to kick off his boots before he fell asleep.

Five minutes later Sniper cracked his eye open to see bouncing orange and blue lights bouncing outside of his window. He squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath, counting to ten slowly. He opened his eyes and sure enough, they were still there, bloody waving at him.

Unbelievable.

11 .

I just wanted you to know that this is my new favorite thing and I also have the weirdest boner right now.

That's all.

12 .

I am very much enjoying this, and can't wait for more!

13 .

I so excited to see this to the end which is, hopefully, far enough off. <333

14 .

Arrgh I'm playing portal 2 right now and every time I turn a corner I'm like 'sniper sniper sniper'

New favourite crossover fic, fullstop.

15 .

Again, thanks for the kind words. I hope you keep reading and like where it’s heading.

--

“What are you two doing here?” Sniper watched as Blue waved energetically. Orange still had his hat tilted on its head. When no words came from them, not like Sniper was expecting much, he stepped aside and waved them in. “Get in before someone sees!”

The two robots followed, chirping and clumsily clunking around. Sniper had to duck to catch his coffee mug that Blue’s elbow knocked over. Sniper watched them warily navigate his van, to the bed, the bookcase, and various clothes that littered the floor.

Blue elbowed Orange, and the taller bot, who had to duck down in some parts of the van, let out a high-pitched squeal. Sniper shushed them, and Orange merely repeated the sound, though thankfully a bit quieter.

Carefully, Orange reached up and removed Sniper’s hat. With a mournful hum, Orange gently placed the hat in Sniper’s hands. Its orange eye lowered and Sniper absolutely wasn’t going to feel bad.

It made a pitiful noise and Sniper thrust the hat back at Orange.

“G’on. I have plenty.”

Orange shook its head, another series of low chirps filling the van. Sniper shrugged and put the hat back on his head. Blue was prodding a pile of his dirty laundry, an errant sock getting stuck on one of his metal fingers. Sniper almost chuckled. Instead, he just glanced nervously out of the window to make sure no one was outside.

So far so good. Sniper turned to the two robots in time to see Orange picking up his boot. Right. This had to stop.

“Right.” Sniper gently put his hand on what appeared to be the robots’ shoulders. “Thanks for the hat, but you two can’t stay here.” Blue made a low noise, its spherical head tilting to the side. Sniper narrowed his eyes from behind his aviators. “I know you can understand me. Go on, go back home.”

The noises they made were pitiful and they acted like Sniper had kicked them. Sniper opened the door to his van, checking to make sure the coast was clear, and when it was he quickly motioned for Blue and Orange to follow him outside.

Sniper relaxed, just a little, under the night sky. He’d always feel more at ease outside; it was how he was raised. He took a deep breath and exhaled, stretching his arms out to exercise his muscles.

When odd, electronic sounds emitted behind him, he turned in time to see Blue and Orange copying him. He wanted to be angry, but all he could bring himself to feel was exhausted.

“I’m serious.” Sniper crossed his arms. “Go home.” Orange’s shrill sound was almost like a whine. Blue’s eye seemed to dim, and Sniper dragged his hand down his face, wondering when exactly his life had become a weird science-fiction novel. “Don’t… don’t do that just…” With a sigh, Sniper cleared his throat. “The missus won’t like it, will she?”

That got the little buggers to pay attention. With two chirps of farewell, Blue and Orange scampered off into the dusty night. Sniper watched the bobbing blue and orange lights until they disappeared over the hill.

He pulled out a cigarette and lit it, letting nicotine’s burn gently ease the tension—

“Mind if I join you?”

Ash and fire burned Sniper’s lungs when he practically inhaled his cigarette. He stumbled until his back up was up against the van, and he managed to hack the offending embers out of his mouth and onto the ground. He looked up through slightly teary eyes to see the Spy staring at him looking rather unimpressed.

“Blimey, warn a man, would you, spook?”

The Spy rolled his eyes and lit a cigarette smoothly.

“Non, such a thing is simply… not in my nature.”

Sniper grunted and began patting his vest for his cigs, only to find the box empty. He sighed, but was soon presented with a lit cigarette from the Spy. Sniper took it, sneaking a glance at his teammate.

“Thanks, mate.”

Spy shrugged gracefully.

“De rien.” The smoked in silence for a while, and Sniper tried not to fidget too much. He never liked spies, they were shifty folks, and while this one happened to be on his “team,” no one could ever be sure just where their true intentions lied. “I thought I heard you talking.”

Sniper almost closed his eyes out of pure defeat.

“Shootin’ the breeze, clearin’ my head.”

It didn’t take a genius to see that the Spy wasn’t convinced, but Sniper knew one thing—Spy didn’t see Blue and Orange. If he had, he wouldn’t be so calm. The Spy flicked his cigarette.

“Just a suggestion… but the next time you need to,” the spook waved his hand, “clear your head, you might not want to reference a wife that you don’t have.”

Sniper bristled.

“Look, mate, I don’t go stickin’ my nose into your business—”

The Spy smirked and winked.

“Mon ami… it was just a friendly suggestion.” He squeezed Sniper’s shoulder before. “Good night, bushman.”

The Frenchman lit another cigarette, a light trail of smoke following him as he ventured off to somewhere else. Sniper watched him before grimacing and going back into his van.

::::

As the days kept going, Sniper slid back into a place that felt almost normal. Friday had been a good day, the BLUs didn’t seem to have their heads in the game, and they certainly didn’t have their heads on their body once Sniper got through with ‘em.

By the end, Sniper was relaxed with adrenalin making the tips of his fingers tingle as he pulled up a stool next to the counter as Solider and Engie whipped up, “A true American meal.” Sniper didn’t care what kind of meal it was, just as long as it was edible.

Pyro, Demoman, and Scout were caught up in a card game and Sniper wasn’t sure where Heavy and Medic were. He snapped open a beer as the Spy slid into the seat next to him.

“Nice work today.”

Sniper nodded politely.

“You too.”

The dinner that night was some sort of meat. The Solider put too much salt in it, but Sniper wasn’t picky. Spy barely touched his, and it lead to a fight. Sniper tipped his hat to the team at around eleven and was about to go to his van when Spy was at his side.

“Earlier, I thought you were in your van—it was moving around. Imagine my surprise when I found you here instead.”

Sniper ground his teeth together.

“You best mind your own business, mate.” Sniper cracked his knuckles. “I don’t go askin’ why the BLU Scout takes every chance he can to kill you as painfully as he can manage.”

That got the spook’s smug smile to drop right off his face. He backed off, barely noticeable, but for men like Sniper and Spy, it was enough of a concession.

“Fair enough.”

Sniper grunted and stalked to his van. He didn’t have to look behind him to know that the Spy had gone back inside. One he opened the door he was relieved to see that Blue and Orange weren’t inside. Instead, there was a… cube on his bed. It was white and grey, and in the center of each side was a pink heart.

It wasn’t that heavy, and Sniper tried to figure out if it… did anything, but when nothing tried to kill him he figured it was just a cube. But nothing was ever just as it seemed, not with the child’s voice with a trigger-happy bot behind it, not with Blue and Orange, and not with the woman-who-wasn’t-a-woman who seemed to control the whole mess.

Knowing her, this cube was probably some valuable material that was never meant leave the facility, let alone be in Sniper’s van.

Sniper took off his aviators and wiped his hand down his face. Right. He was going to have to return it.

::::

Sniper woke up early on Saturday morning and drove on out to where he’d set up his tent the week before. He stopped his van there, just to be safe. He took his rifle, banjo, and tucked the cube under his arm and began his journey, making sure to cover his tracks.

He got to the deceptively crumbling facility and pushed his way past the vines and leaves until he was inside.

With the daylight, it was easier to see the lift, its glass shimmering and only a little dusty. Sniper hadn’t even touched the glass before the woman’s voice echoed throughout the entire room.

“What are you doing here?”

Sniper couldn’t find a camera, so he just spoke to the door.

“Your little friends left something in my van—I wasn’t sure if you needed it, so I’m here to return it.”

A burst of angry static made the Sniper’s shoulders jump a little.

“Those—punishment will only be the beginning—”

“Wait a minute, let’s not be hasty.” Sniper shifted his weight from one foot to the other… because while the little buggers gave him heart attacks, they weren’t… well; he never wanted them to get in trouble. “Let’s just talk this out, it’s not a big deal.” There was a pause, and Sniper laid his free hand on the glass. “Just the two of us, it won’t be painful, ma’am.”

He waited for what seemed like a small eternity before the glass hissed open. Sniper let out a soft breath of relief as he stepped inside the lift and let himself be taken down.

::::

16 .

The companion cube!
THE COMPANION CUBE!

Oh man, you are too wonderful for words!
I am seriously loving this sotry!

17 .

Found a couple errors:

"He squeezed Sniper’s shoulder before. “Good night, bushman.”"

Before he left, maybe?

"and they certainly didn’t have their heads on their body once Sniper got through with ‘em."

I don't believe Sniper's headshots actually remove the heads from the body, so...

Anyways, this was a great chapter, and I can't wait for more!

18 .

Again, thanks for the kind words. I’ll try and be better at catching errors. I hope you all like the update!

--

When the doors opened Sniper was back in the main atrium. He stepped out and took off his hat like a gentleman.

“Good day, ma’am.” The yellow optic would have rolled in its socket if it could. Sniper placed the cube gently on the ground. “They left this in my van, I think it might have been making up for nickin’ my hat.”

The walls quivered, and the air went cold.

“They were explicitly told to return it to you.”

Sniper presented his hat, waving it a bit.

“It’s right here. And that was mighty kind of them. But I didn’t need any sort of… equivalent.” He tapped the cube gently. “I don’t even know what this thing is.”

“It’s a Companion Cube.” She didn’t call him a moron, but Sniper could hear it loud and clear. When Sniper couldn’t quite hold back his snicker, the lovely lady sighed. “They are testing, once they’re done they will be disassembled and brought up here.”

Sniper’s hat fell from his hands.

“No! I’m not angry, they don’t have to be—”

The floor panels shot up and the momentum made Sniper fall to his knees and hold on tightly so he didn’t topple over. The panel lifted itself higher until he was right up close to her, that yellow eye unyielding and never blinking.

“You have no say in the matter.”

The floor panel sank and Sniper stumbled forward. He felt sick—he never wanted those two dead. Sure, they were nothin’ but trouble and stole his hat—but they’d given it back, hadn’t they? Sniper felt a cold, sick sweat break out over his skin, and he shakily dragged his numb hand down his face.

A door dinged, another lift coming up. He couldn’t look; he couldn’t see their broken, dead parts just tumbling out and laying there. He hadn’t wanted it, he never asked—

Cheerful chirps made Sniper take his hand away from his eyes.

Blue and Orange were there, alive, and waving at him. Sniper couldn’t help it, he grinned.

“You’re all right!” He jogged up to them, his hat tilting back perilously. “I thought—I thought weren’t gonna make it!”

Sniper was so elated that he didn’t even mind it when Blue and Orange hugged him.

“Stop that, he’s filthy!” Orange chattered merrily, and the vibrations tickled Sniper’s face. He laughed as Blue lifted him up a bit, cracking the bones in his back. “Put him down right now.”

When Sniper’s feet touched the ground he smiled, his hands still on their shoulders.

“Easy, mates.” He turned to wink at the yellow eye. “No harm done.”

She made a noise of disgust and lifted the floor panel that held the cube, the Companion Cube.

“This is property of Aperture Science. You never take it out of the facility.”

Orange hummed, low and ashamed. Blue hung his spherical head and Sniper patted the little guy’s shoulder.

“S’all right. I brought it back, nothing’s out of place.”

Blue chirped Sniper tipped his hat in response.

“Get back to testing.”

Orange and Blue jumped to obey, and when the glass elevator came back down, Sniper knew that he was being asked to leave. Blue and Orange waved to him before running off to their work. Sniper walked past the Companion Cube and got into the lift. He bowed his head.

“Until next time.”

The elevator shot up a bit faster than necessary.

“There won’t be one.”

At first, Sniper thought she had finally lost her patience was going to kill him. Instead, the doors opened and he was let out into the rundown entrance. The doors slammed shut behind him and the glass lift hissed back down into the earth.

Sniper paused for a moment before taking out his banjo and plucking away as he walked back to the van.

He knew that it wouldn’t be the last time he saw her. Not with those two little rascals and their damned curiosity.

::::

It was a damn standoff—not one team was doing better than the other.

Sniper grimaced as he took out the BLU Scout for the sixteenth time that day. He smelled smoke, and he turned around just in time to see the BLU Spy sneering down at him. The knife fight didn’t last long, Sniper was distracted and the Spy wasn’t.

He came to outside of Respawn. He was starting to get a migraine, and it wasn’t even four.

Sniper ran past Medic and Heavy as he went back to his spot. Each rung he climbed was just another routine. He pulled himself up, putting his rifle first before he yanked himself up onto the wooden planks to see—

Blue and Orange. In the middle of the day. At his lookout.

“No.” Sniper scrambled to his feet. “No, no, you can’t be here, not now.” Sniper moved quickly, picking off a BLU Solider and Demoman who got too close to the lookout. “Come on, get out of here before someone sees you!”

Blue and Orange just squawked, crossing their arms like a damn pair of rowdy teenagers. Sniper didn’t have time to object, because the BLU Heavy was getting too damn trigger-happy at his hideout, and he took him and his German partner out.

Sniper reloaded his rifle, sparing a glance back at the robots. They were tossing empty bullet shells back and forth. He pointed at the window, at their weird portal guns.

“Go.” He put more force into his voice. “I’m not jokin’, mates. You can’t—”

Explosions made the whole damn building shudder like leaves and Sniper glanced through his scope in time to see the BLU Demoman back from Respawn and shooting the legs of Sniper’s hideout up with grenades. Sniper had time to fire a shot off and miss the bloody Scotsman before he heard a familiar, odd whooshing sound.

He turned to see a blue portal. Blue narrowed his blue eye and fired off another shot out of the window on the other side of the room, away from both of the bases. Sniper’s aviators slid down his nose as bits of cactus and a broken down truck reflected back at him from the floor of his hideout.

Blue chirped and before Sniper had much of a say in anything he was grabbed firmly by the arm and shoved through the portal. He was going forward—and then up. It made him dizzy and roll onto the sand to get his bearings as Blue and Orange followed him.

The portal disappeared and Sniper saw his hideout crumble into a fiery heap from a safe distance. Orange high-fived Blue and Sniper massaged his temples.

“If you absolutely have to keep following me…” He sighed. “It has to be at night. Or else you could get into real trouble.” Orange nudged him, chirping. Sniper leveled them both with his most serious stare. “Do you get me, mates?”

The little bots fell silent and nodded quietly. Sniper sighed.

“Good. Now go. I’ll see you tonight.”

Sniper still had a headache when he made it back to the battlefield in time to get shot by a BLU Solider.

He tried to tell himself it was worth the pile of odds and ends that Blue and Orange proudly presented him in a neat collection on his mattress. It looked like a pile of junk to Sniper, but the little buggers were so damn proud that he accepted it all the same.

He slept that night, and just before he slipped off into the deeper realms of unconsciousness, he dreamt of her voice… singing.

::::

“I swear to God that I saw fucking aliens last night.”

Sniper came into the kitchen to see Scout talking animatedly with the Solider and Engie. The Spy came into the kitchen behind Sniper, and when he saw the Scout waving his hands he muttered something dark under his breath in French.

Engie, the most patient out of all of them, simply squeezed the boy’s shoulder, trying to calm him down.

“Son, why don’t you just take a breath and start from the beginning?”

Scout listened, for once. Sniper poured himself a cup of decaf, leaning in the counter. The Spy joined him, snatching a piece of toast from the Soldier’s plate. Scout took an exaggerated breath, his chest puffing out from all the air in his lungs.

“Last night, I woke up and had to take a leak.” Sniper rolled his eyes but nodded to keep the kid appeased. “Anyway—I went outside, and… and I saw aliens, man, I shit you not!” Scout took another breath, this one actually shook a bit. “They were big, and their eyes glowed blue and orange—and they made this weird sound—like ray guns or some shit.”

It was like ice water had been poured down Sniper’s back. He managed to not overtly choke on his coffee, but it did take a little longer for him to swallow than usual.

“Aliens?” Sniper forced his voice to remain steady. “You sure you weren’t dreamin’?”

“No way.” Scout shook his head. “These things were totally real. We need to take precautions, fellas. I’m serious. This could be a full scale invasion.”

“Invasion?” Solider pounded his fist on the table. “That won’t STAND, the American blood in my veins won’t—”

“Let’s not start overreacting like children.” Spy lit a cigarette, looking rather bored. “Especially because of a child’s fantasy—”

Scout sputtered.

“Who are you callin’ a child?”

Engie held the Scout back; his eyebrows low on his goggles.

“Easy, son. It was a long day yesterday, hopefully not as long today.” The Engineer paused. “We’ll… let’s just see if we see these, uh, aliens again.”

Scout squirmed out of Engie’s grip in order to poke his chest with his index finger.

“You don’t believe me, do you?”

Demoman stumbled into the kitchen, growling and hung over.

“What’s all the shoutin’ about?”

Scout, Engie, and Solider all spoke at once to fill the Scotsman in—which just made him shout louder to tell them all to shut up—which in turn made Scout screech even louder. Sniper grimaced and Spy’s fingers tangled in his balaclava.

“Merde.” He glared at Sniper, lowering his voice to a hissing whisper. “Do not let this happen again, or I will not be so… blind to the things you’ve been getting into lately.”

Sniper managed a half-hearted glare, but it fell a bit flat when the Demoman pinched Scout, making the kid squeal.

::::

19 .

I don't often comment, I'm a very lurky/quiet anon. But this story makes me so very happy, I can't wait for the next update~ <3

20 .

I like this quite a lot, and I wonder when GlaDos and Sniper will get on better terms than they are now.

21 .

This... this made my day. Thank you.

(It's odd - I've been around in this chan for a while now, but I haven't started commenting at all until just last week. I suppose it's the recent excess of quality work, such as this. Am I in love with this fic? Yes. Am I eagerly awaiting the next update? Yes. Am I sucking up to the author in the hopes that this will increase the speed of the updating process... yes. A little.)

But I am definitely looking forward to how this plays out. I wonder what would happen if you introduced speed gel to Scout...

22 .

The rest of the week crawled by. Sniper would check the outskirts of the forts from time to time—and every once and a while he’d see a gleam of white metal and a flash of blue or orange. But they never came to his hideout, which was good.

At the end of the week, Scout hadn’t seen the “aliens” and Sniper managed to not have any sort of panic attacks. He packed up his van and right when he was about to slide the key into the ignition, the Spy knocked on his window. Sniper rolled it down, and the Spy held out a cigarette, one of the fancy French kind that had smoke that smelled like wild berries.

“Don’t forget your contract.” He struck a match and Sniper allowed Spy to light the cigarette. “Balancing work with… whatever you’re tangled in is a dangerous game.”

Sniper slid the cigarette between his lips, staring at the spook from behind his aviators.

“Are you threatenin’ me?”

Spy shook his head, his lips pulled into a weird frown that Sniper couldn’t read.

“No. Merely… friendly advice.”

Sniper snorted.

“Right.”

He rolled up the window and tore off into the desert.

::::

Dusty notes came out of Sniper’s banjo as he stepped his way over broken glass and tile. He plucked away until she sighed, some spare debris falling from the ceiling from the vibration.

“Are you going to keep that up until I let you in?”

Sniper stopped, his fingers resting on the strings.

“Dunno.” He shrugged. “I suppose so.”

There was a lot that Sniper didn’t think on too much. Like the fact that he kept coming back—and not to the little rascals, though they were a funny pair. He’d be lying if he claimed it was to see them. No… it was to see her.

It certainly wasn’t a logical fascination, not even a safe one. But he couldn’t begin to explain the rush of pride that filled him when the doors opened.

The ride was short; she seemed to enjoy the way he would stumble slightly out of the lift while tipping his hat to her. Sniper certainly didn’t mind, not when it would get him a glimpse of her—something massive and technological in a way he couldn’t begin to understand.

“They’re testing.”

The atrium seemed to have gotten bigger. Sniper saw that the cube Orange and Blue gave him was still on the floor. He took a seat on it and began to idly play his banjo as video screens turned on to show Blue and Orange using their guns and flying through the air like spider monkeys.

It was weird, and a little odd to be sitting there with her moving around idly, no doubt running things. Once and a while, he could hear her give them directions from the video screens even though she didn’t speak in the room where Sniper was. He watched and listened, and without him really thinking about it, he started playing Mozart.

When he was first learning banjo and guitar, his mother insisted that he learn the classics first. She’d insisted that he had to learn the true greats before he started to break the rules.

His calloused fingers slid over the strings, pulling and plucking in perfect sync with the tempo meant for Mozart. He didn’t have to look down, not for the classics, and he watched Orange and Blue complete test chambers. He got lost in the music, in the ebb and flow of gentle and teasing, with little pulls of—

The screens flickered, the picture going fuzzy. Sniper blinked, his fingers pausing.

“Is everything—?”

“Don’t stop.”

When Sniper hadn’t been looking, she’d lowered her main apparatus closer to the ground so she was right over Sniper’s shoulder. He didn’t jump exactly, but he did freeze for just a moment before he began to play again, this time Beethoven. He kept his eyes on her the entire time. He could see the video screens flicker out completely in the corner of his vision.

He never stopped, even when the tips of his fingers began to ache a little, he kept going, moving on from one classical composer to the next—and the lights began to dim, but if anything her eye got brighter.

The panels that made up the wall seemed to be getting closer, and Sniper stopped again.

“I—I didn’t mean any offense, I’ll stop—”

“No.” Her voice sent a rumbling vibration through the floor, cube, and right into Sniper. “Keep going.”

Her voice was lower, almost… throatier. It made Sniper flush, his fingers numb as he kept playing. The lights were completely out, and the only light was her, not that Sniper needed to look anywhere else. It was so dark—and he kept playing while looking at her.

He wondered if she could hear how loud his heartbeat was, if she could tell that the way he was breathin’ was shallower than normal. He swallowed and just as he struck the peak of the song—the walls shook and the moan that echoed in the chamber was so strong that it knocked Sniper to the floor, his hands twitching as he managed to keep the cube from bouncing off.

Sniper sucked in a quick breath, his whole body throbbing. Had she just—did he just give her a—what exactly just happened?

Quick movement made Sniper sit up, he could hear it coming from above—and he had time to try and reach out to her main body, but her eye’s yellow light had dimmed significantly, and he missed. Instead, thick cords wrapped around his midsection and lifted him up into the air.

They were strong, and his hands were free long enough to get a good feel for them. They felt like… the rubber that covered electrical wires—only these cords were a lot thicker than the wires Sniper was used to.

Soon his wrists were captured and forced firmly up above his head. Her yellow eye regained its former brightness and she raised him along with herself. More cords wrapped around him, and Sniper tested their strength and quickly found himself outmatched.

He expected her to say something… maybe a “thank you.” Instead, she just squeezed him, short, like an experiment to see if she could without killing him. Sniper’s breath hitched as a thinner cord wrapped around his neck, a reminder of just who was in charge… as if Sniper could ever forget.

Sniper took in as much of a breath as he could and that was when the bloody cords started vibrating. There were a pair wrapped around his thighs, and he hadn’t noticed just how hard he was—until those buggers started pressing harder against him, those vibrations making Sniper’s eyes roll into the back of his head behind his aviators.

A low moan escaped him, but the cord around his neck squeezed a little, just enough for a burn.

Right. No sounds. Sniper could work with that. The vibrations became stronger, and Sniper bit his lip, keeping in every whimper that dared to attempt to pass his lips. His body shook, and not just from the vibrations. Her yellow eye captured him in its light, and he made sure to keep quiet, the cord around his neck a delicate but powerful presence.

The cord around his left thigh loosened in order to move higher, and Sniper jerked within her grip. It was too much; he hadn’t felt anything quite like this before. There was no soft flesh of a woman’s hand or lips… it was warm and robotic. When the right cord followed the left’s example, it didn’t take long at all before Sniper was coming—his hips making tiny, helpless little jerks as his teeth broke the skin on his lips.

He sighed, a slip that managed to get past the cord around his neck. His whole body went limp—and his eyes closed for a short moment.

She lowered him back to the ground, each cord gently unwrapping from him. The one around his neck was the last to leave, and the way it dragged against his sensitive skin made him shiver. His legs shook more than he’d like to admit, and the lights slowly came back online.

Sniper knew he was red in the face. He hadn’t come in his pants since he was a bloody teenager. Every move he made only made him blush harder when it made the sticky mess in his trousers a bit more evident. The video screens came back and images of Blue and Orange going through testing filled the room. Sniper swallowed, his hat clutched in his hands in front of his damp pants.

“Um…”

“Clean yourself up.”

The walls to the atrium opened to expose a hallway. Blue lights lit up on the floor, and when Sniper hesitated, the floor panel beneath him tilted to make him walk toward the door. He spared a glance over his shoulder, to his banjo and cube lying on the ground.

He turned back and followed the lights down into the facility.

::::

23 .

A wonderful thing to come back from class to.

24 .

Oh god my pants. I need another pair of pants.

I was wondering when you'd get to the, ah, technical aspects of their relationship. Not what I was expecting at all. Good fucking show, good show.

25 .

Eagerly anticipating more. I think the captcha is too, it says "pleased".

26 .

Again, thanks so much for the kind words, I hope you enjoy this update!

--

The water in the bathtub was the perfect temperature. Sniper sank down deep into the water, his knees sticking up above the tub. He opened his eyes when he heard a sharp hiss. His clothes, which he’d left piled on the floor, were gone.

Before he could even raise his eyebrows, a camera on the wall activated and turned toward him.

“Your clothes are being incinerated.”

Sniper shot up in the bath, his aviators sliding down his nose.

“Oi! Look, lady, I don’t mean to be upset, but you can’t just take a man’s clothes and—”

“They were beyond repair. Unless you want to return with… your pants in the state they were in.”

Sniper blushed, which was a kick since it wasn’t like he was the only one in the room who had… enjoyed themselves. He lathered up his hands with soap with the Aperture logo on it.

“At least you left my hat.”

The camera flickered and she let out an annoyed burst of static before deactivating the camera. Sniper smirked and washed himself off quickly, draining the tub and turning on the shower to give himself a final rinse. Another hiss made him look to see new clothes drop from the ceiling.

He stepped out of the tub and toweled himself off quickly, his hair still a bit damp and shaggy as he picked up the orange pants and matching shirt.

“No. No bloody way.”

Sniper might have hated it, but he managed to put together the clothes in a way that wasn’t completely embarrassing. He kept the pants on and wore the white undershirt, but that was it. He wasn’t going to go strolling around looking like an employee of some sort. He walked down the hallway and once he got back to the atrium he saw that Blue and Orange were done testing. They waved at him, and when Sniper waved back he saw the bruises that were already coloring on his wrist.

He quickly lowered his hand, feeling his face get a bit warm, which, really, after everything he certainly shouldn’t be embarrassed at a few bruises, of all things.

Orange sprang up to him and reached out for his face. Sniper backed up, but not fast enough before it’s metal finger swiped over his lower lip. Sniper blinked and realized that he was bleeding. Nothing serious, but enough to catch Orange’s attention and make the little (maybe not so little, it managed to stand taller than Sniper) bugger chirp and swipe the blood over Blue’s body, making a little “X.”

“Stop that!” Blue whirred and grabbed Orange’s body and juggled it before retuning it. “That’s disgusting!”

Sniper didn’t disagree and he licked his thumb and cleaned Blue right up. Blue hummed, his blue eye brightening a little before Sniper received a light shock and an electronic cackle.

It was weird—nothing close to normal. Sniper leaned his banjo against the Companion Cube and watched the two robots… well, he supposed the proper word for it was “play” but he didn’t dare actually say that aloud. Instead, he just rubbed his sore wrists, the dull ache making him smile.

::::

When Sniper returned to base on Sunday he felt fresher and younger, almost. He whistled and found himself smiling for no particular reason at all. It was maddening and more than a little foolish.

Not that it stopped him.

He was in the kitchen to get a beer when the Medic’s voice made him turn around.

“Ach! What happened to your neck?”

Sniper automatically slapped his hand to his neck, and he winced a little at the dull throb of pain it sent through him. At first he was confused—and that was when he realized just where that particular ring of bruises around his neck came from.

“Uh—”

Medic raised his eyebrows.

“Tussle with the wildlife?” The Medic’s gloved fingers ran lightly over the skin. “There’s no variation… the bruising is completely constant…”

Sniper ducked out of the Medic’s touch.

“They don’t hurt, they’re fine.”

With an unopened beer in hand, the Sniper moved back outside under the warm sun. He set up a worn old lawn chair and leaned back. When a shadow fell over him he cracked open his eye to see Spy smirking down at him like he was the fat cat that caught the canary.

Sniper sat up, taking his hat to dust it off.

“Can I help you, spook?”

If anything, that just made the Spy’s smirk widen.

“You seem, what is the word, chipper this morning.” Sniper scowled and leaned back down his chair, at gingerly at the matching ring of bruises around both of his thighs. “Are you sure those bruises won’t slow you down in the field?”

Sniper rolled his eyes.

“My wrists will hardly slow me down.”

Sniper nudged the outside of Sniper’s right thigh.

“I wasn’t talking about those bruises.” Sniper jerked up in his seat, his hand on the hilt of his blade but the Spy merely took a casual step back. “I’m not one to judge. You’re better this way—your mood, I mean. It’s about time you got a lady-friend.” When Sniper didn’t respond the Spy tilted his head to the side. “Man-friend?” Sniper glared and the Spy shrugged. “Lady-friend it is.”

When the Spy didn’t leave, Sniper offered him one of his cigarettes. The Spy took it, tipped a hat he didn’t have, and was off. Sniper supposed that was a good thing, but you could never be too sure with spooks.

::::

27 .

Another quick update before dinner. I hope you all enjoy it!

--

The week was different than most given the fact that Sniper found himself out of his lookouts most of the time. He had to do some close, hand-to-hand work.

The BLU Scout shrieked as Sniper took out his kneecap and then gave him a quick and easy headshot. He saw the Medic behind the struggling Heavy, another pair of their opposite numbers on their tail. Sniper had to reload, and before he could take aim the BLU Heavy mimicked smoking a cigarette. Sniper frowned, and before he could cock his gun, the BLU Heavy grabbed his Medic and drew a knife out from behind him.

Sniper watched as Heavy drew down the blade—and the BLU Medic’s eyes widened, the look of betrayal so raw that Sniper almost felt bad for the German. When red smoke enveloped the BLU Heavy and he turned into the Spy, Sniper wasn’t surprised.

“What can I say,” Spy smirked, “their trust in each other makes them easy targets.”

Medic huffed and took the time to heal his Heavy. Sniper covered them as the Spy ran off, going up in smoke once more. Sniper fired off four quick shots, getting rid of enemy BLUs as fast as he could manage. Once the Medic was done he squeezed Sniper’s arm and they were off.

It was a very close match, and Sniper stuck with the Medic and Heavy for a while until the damned BLU Spy came back to give Sniper a piece of his mind.

At the end of the day, RED had won by a nose. Sniper was exhausted. Dinner was beans since it was the quickest and easiest. Sniper thought me might just pass out in his plate of beans when the Spy grimaced next to him, sucking down cigarette after cigarette.

“Five times.” The Spy hissed. “Five times their Heavy went after me.”

Sniper managed a weary smirk into his beer.

“Not that I’m sidin’ with ‘im, but I can see his point.”

Spy scowled at him but said nothing after that. The Medic tapped Sniper’s shoulder, and the circles pulling at his eyes were probably under all of their eyes.

“Thank you.” His accent sounded a bit nasally. “For your help in the field today.”

Sniper waved his hand.

“Think nothin’ of it, mate.”

Really, it would be unprofessional of him not to help out his own teammates. But the Medic wouldn’t have it.

“No, it was not—it was helpful. If there’s anything you—need that you don’t have already, just say the word.”

Sniper was going to say that he was fine when he thought of something.

“Actually.” The doctor perked up as Sniper leaned forward. “Do you have any records of German classical composers? Sorry, I,” He scratched the back of his neck. “I don’t know any German composers by name.”

The Medic looked so baffled that Sniper almost laughed. The Spy wasn’t so strong-willed and he actually giggled around his cigarette as the Medic blinked.

“I—well, yes. Yes, I do.”

Sniper cleared his throat in a way he hoped came across as casual.

“Could I listen to them, just a few times?”

::::

The next time Sniper went back to the facility he didn’t even have to pull out his banjo before the glass doors opened. She didn’t say anything, but she didn’t have to. Sniper stepped inside and let himself be taken down.

She still didn’t speak when he entered the atrium. He looked up at the screens; Blue and Orange were “testing” again. He walked over to his Companion Cube and sat down in the same spot he was last time. He watched her watch him, that yellow eye all seeing and unblinking. He stretched his legs and spread his fingers out over his banjo’s strings.

The lights flickered.

The Sniper drew in a breath. He’d practiced in the Infirmary for hours, each spare moment the Doctor would let him listen to his records, stopping and starting as he learned every note. It was arduous. It was frustrating. Hopefully… it was worth it.

He exhaled and the screens went dark.

Sniper felt a crooked smile spread over his lips and he dove right into it. He didn’t stumble over any of the notes, and his fingers stung, the skin raw because of how much he’d gone over it just to make sure it was perfect—

Within minutes his clothes were torn off and he didn’t have a chance, not really. Not with her grip, her reach, and those vibrations that drove a man half out of his mind. This time she didn’t stop him from crying out. His fingers twitched and held onto her cords, his nails scraping over him.

Judging at the downright purrs she let buzz through the air, she didn’t mind it at all. Sniper did his best to just hold on, but she was relentless, never stopping, never letting him catch a breath. His vision went white and bright around the edges, like when he’d been staring at the sun for too long.

He came to on the ground, sticky and his limbs heavy. He sat up, weakly grabbing for his hat. One of her cords passed over him loosely, making his stomach muscles clench from the contact as she pushed his hat across the floor.

Sniper gingerly picked up his hat.

He jumped when he heard a male voice say, “Sprinkler’s activated.” Luke-warm water rained down on him. He stretched and looked up at her, using his hat to block the water.

“Cleanliness might not matter to you, but it matters to me.”

The sprinklers stopped and Sniper salvaged what was left of his clothes—which wasn’t much. His pants were ruined; his shirt was more holes than cloth. Sniper felt loose and relaxed as he slid his shirt on.

She was low enough to touch, so Sniper reached up with his hand and ran it over her metal body. He could feel things buzzing underneath her, a gentle, steady hum of something greater—something powerful. For a moment, Sniper could have sworn she leaned into his hand.

If she had, it was only for a moment.

The floor panel he was on pushed him away. She already had the corridor lit up, but Sniper knew where to go.

::::

The orange pants weren’t terrible. They were loose and with his battered shirt it didn’t look too odd. Sniper sat on the floor panel, picking out random tunes instead of the classics.

Orange and Blue were shooting their guns at each other, but whenever they fired no portals would form, just little bursts of blue and orange. Sniper remembered leaning against one of the wall panels, and he seemed to remember it leaning against him. He played until Blue and Orange left, he played until his eyes were struggling to stay open.

It was only when he was slipping in and out of consciousness—when all the lights were off and the only person with him was her—that he heard her sing.

Of course it could have been a dream, one could never be too sure about these things.

All Sniper knew for sure was that he woke up under a mountain of pillows and blankets that was still being added to by Blue and Orange. She was scolding them as Sniper battled his way out of it. He was swamped and almost tripped over a few dozen blankets that managed to wrap around his legs.

He tipped his hat, his banjo in one hand as he stepped onto the lift.

When he stepped out of the lift it was just like all the other times he’d been there. He went past the debris, the vines, and ferns until his boots hit sand. He turned around—and he wondered if she thought of him the same way he thought of her. If she looked forward to the next classical piece he played or to the way he’d hum along sometimes.

A slight smile grew on his lips, and Sniper shook his head, turning back to the sand.

Nah. He was too old for such foolish thoughts.

28 .

This.. this is a lovely thing to find after having a really crap week. I absolutely adore this fic and can't wait for the next update. Sorry there's no con-crit anywhere, I love this too much to criticize it anyway.

(Captcha was "largest uterus"... I... I don't even know.)

29 .

>>28

Pfff...Sniper and GLaDOS kids...

30 .

i very much love this little fic you have here it takes my 4 favorite things (team fortress 2, sniper, portal(1 or 2 no matter), and GlaDos) and meshes them together! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!! And best of all you update regularly! sometimes twice in one day! DO not STOP being awesome!!!

(captcha was sabath wife? what?)

31 .

I play Cara Mia Addio in my head whenever I read this, except for the sex scenes of course. I could see Sniper playing it for GladOS, in a manly Australian accent of course.

I love this story!

32 .

It's fics like these that get me out of my artist's block. Expect fan art of this possibly this weekend. Possibly.

33 .

>>26
"Sniper nudged the outside of Sniper’s right thigh."

>>27
"His fingers twitched and held onto her cords, his nails scraping over him. "

Wat.

However, I am loving this darlin', I really am.

34 .

Aah, sorry for the mistakes. Hopefully there aren't any in this update. Again, if you want to make fan art, that would be amazing and much appreciated, but don't stress about it! I hope you enjoy the update!

--

Things began to develop a pattern. Blue and Orange would visit at night every Wednesday. Fridays were team days, Sniper had to be present. Saturday mornings to Sunday evenings… he was entirely hers. He knew more classical songs than he knew what to do with—and sometimes he wouldn’t even make it to them. Not that he complained.

He hummed more, and even when the world was loud and full of endless gunfire—Sniper could still hear music.

Cigarette smoke curled into the light hues of the setting sun. Sniper and Spy sat out on the roof, Sniper with a beer and Spy with a bottle of wine. It was a Wednesday, and the Spy blew a ring of smoke against the dusky sky.

“You ever think of buying your petite dame something?”

Sniper glanced over at the Spy.

“What?”

The Frenchman’s eyes crinkled from under his cloth balaclava.

“Diamonds. Perfume.” He waved his hand lazily in the air. “Something personal—depends on the woman.” When Sniper didn’t say anything, the Spy continued. “I only ask because, if you don’t mind me saying,” his accented voice stretched lazily across the air between them, “things seem to be getting serious.”

Sniper snickered, his shoulders quaking.

“Hm.” He smirked. “What do you get your special lady?”

The Spy’s smile widened, his teeth flashing in the setting sun.

“Baseball tickets.” When Sniper laughed, the Spy joined him. “I know, the most boring sport in the world—but I can’t fault her for loving it.” He waved his hand again. “Something about some kind of socks.”

Sniper laughed harder.

“Red Sox, you bloody spook. They’re a team.”

They both laughed heartily, their cigarettes almost slipping out of their fingers. Sniper wiped his eyes as the Spy took a long sip from his wine.

“So.” He glanced at the Sniper. “Are you going to get her something? If it’s matter of getting it, there are ways—it’s not that difficult.”

Sniper’s eyes widened. It sounded like Spy was offering a favor. Of course, he probably was trying to figure out just what kind of woman Sniper was seeing. The Spy was an astute person, no doubt. He’d have to be in order to impersonate all of them flawlessly—to become them he’d have to know all of them, think of all possibilities.

Even so—Sniper had the feeling that even the Spy would never guess the kind of woman Sniper was involved with.

“I don’t think so.” Sniper’s cigarette was down to nothing. Without a word Spy replaced it. “She already has everything.”

The Spy chuckled at that.

“Mon ami…” Spy grinned. “No woman has everything.”

The sun dipped down below the horizon and the stars began to come out. Sniper stood up.

“Thanks for the cigarette. I have to—”

“I know.” Spy smiled. “It’s a Wednesday.”

Sniper’s steps stuttered, but he merely nodded before going to the rusty ladder that went down the side of the building. He kicked up dust as he crossed the grounds to his van. He opened this van and kicked off his boots, taking a moment to stretch his limbs. He sat—and he waited.

And waited.

And waited.

He checked his watch—and Blue and Orange were an hour late. They were never late. Sniper pulled out his binoculars, but he couldn’t see anything. Nothing seemed out of place, and that coupled with the dark made it even more confusing to try and find something.

So he found nothing.

He shoved an exhale out of his lungs and pulled his boots back on.

::::

Sniper’s pounded on the Spy’s door until his knuckles ached.

“Spook!” Sniper could barely breathe, it was like he was in the mountains where the air was thinner and he’d been running for miles. “Bloody hell, Spy, I know you’re in there, you bleedin’ Frenchie, open the door before I break it down—”

Finally the door opened and a clever hand caught Sniper’s fist. The Spy’s balaclava was crooked and even though part of his mouth was concealed Sniper knew he was scowling.

“I’m going to assume that there is a perfectly logical reason as to why you’re hysterical and screaming at my door, bushman.”

When Sniper pulled a breath into his lungs it burned.

“M’not hysterical.” Spy opened his mouth as he straightened his mask, probably to insist otherwise, but Sniper cut him off. “I need your help.” That got the spook to go still. “I need your help… and in return… you’ll have a favor owed to you. From me.”

Spy crossed his arms.

“A favor?”

Sniper scowled.

“You of all people should know the value of a favor.”

“Believe me, bushman. I do.” Spy gestured to the bedclothes he wore. “Give me a moment. Just a moment.”

Sniper nodded weakly.

“All right.”

The Spy closed the door and Sniper let out a sigh of relief. He waited against the opposite wall, his foot bouncing anxiously. He knew that only seconds passed, but they felt like hours, before the Spy’s door opened again. He was back in his battle suit, sharp and put together. His eyes were clear and he smiled.

“What do we have to do?”

::::

Darkness veiled their journey over to the BLU base. Spy moved with certainty, he knew their base like it was the back of his hand. Sniper stuck close and followed every cue that the Spy gave him. They made it to the outside of the main warehouse, and Sniper’s heart thundered in his chest.

The time he spent at RED made him forget to fear death. He treated it as something casual—which death was nothing of the sort. He feared it now—not because he wouldn’t be brought back, he would, but because those five minutes could mean the deaths of Blue and Orange.

Spy slid into the shadows, Sniper following him. The Frenchman turned to him in the dark.

“I’m assuming we’re looking for someone.”

The whisper was the quieter than a ghost’s sigh, but it still seemed booming to Sniper’s ears.

“Two, not one.”

Spy tugged Sniper forward, their backs pressed against the cold concrete.

“Where are they?”

“The Engineer’s room.” Sniper felt nauseous just thinking about it even though he knew it was true. “Do you know where that is?”

“Of course.” The Spy huffed. “Why would they be there?”

Sniper held his breath.

“When you see them, you’ll know why.”

The base was quiet. After all, it was a part of both of their contracts that night was a safe time for both sides. Spy went first, always checking around corners. Every light that wasn’t automatic was turned off—except for one at the end of the Engineer’s wing.

Yellow light peeked out from under the door and windows. They would flicker occasionally, and Sniper wanted to smash his way in there. But they had to be quiet and careful. He pulled out his knife and the Spy did the same. The Spy bit his lip and let his gloved fingers drift over his watch.

“I’ll go in first with the cloaking device.” He paused. “So far I have no idea what your friends look like. I’d like to know what I’m getting into.”

Sniper’s foot bounced.

“They’re like nothing you’ve ever seen. Hurry.” Spy just stared at him, and Sniper grabbed his arm, his nails digging into his wrist though the suit. “Now.”

With a twist of his fingers, Spy vanished before Sniper’s eyes. He opened the door, light spilling into the hallway. The light hit Sniper’s aviators and he saw the BLU Soldier and Engineer inside. On makeshift operating tables—Blue and Orange were strapped down—and their shrieks would be something that would haunt Sniper for the rest of his life.

For a moment nothing moved, nothing so much as twitched. Everything stood still—like time was holding its breath.

Then the Solider whirled around and the Engineer looked up from his table, from Blue’s open body. Sniper shot forward to the Engineer, his hand covering the Texan’s mouth as Sniper slashed his throat open. The burbling screams were muffled and the Spy, who reappeared after the deed was done, killed the Solider in a similar fashion.

“Mon dieu.” Spy’s mouth was slack and he stared, transfixed, at Blue and Orange. “What are they?”

Sniper was pulling at the leather straps that held them down. Orange’s eye blinked slowly, and once its arm got free it waved weakly.

“It’s okay.” Orange let out a weak wail. “I know—it’s over.”

The Spy still hadn’t moved away from the BLU Soldier’s dead body.

“Sniper—what is that thing?”

“Jesus, quit standin’ around like a blooming idiot. Help me.” The Spy finally moved and began to cut away at Blue’s straps—only Blue’s eye was dim and it didn’t move. Orange was up and standing, shakily, but standing. “Jesus…”

Orange grabbed the two guns off the smaller tables. The BLU Engineer must have been preoccupied with the two robots and he hadn’t had a chance to test out their weapons. Orange held Blue’s gun out to Sniper… and he took it as the BLU Soldier’s body disappeared. Spy was heaving Blue’s body up, his legs shaking under the robot’s weight. He saw the gun in Sniper’s hand.

“What the hell is that?”

Sniper took a breath and shot the floor. The gun was too heavy in Orange’s hand—so it was all up to him. He narrowed his eyes and shot out of the window right at the RED base. It landed—and the puddle became a portal. Sniper pushed Orange through and ducked under Blue’s other arm.

“A shortcut.” The Spy hesitated and Sniper gave him a grim smile. “Bend your knees. Trust me, it helps.”

Spy closed his eyes briefly.

“Merde.”

He jumped through just as the BLUs alarm went off.

::::

35 .

I'm trying to give some constructive criticism... but I can't find anything to criticize. Maybe with the nest (hopefully soon) update, you could make a few errors just so I don't feel so bad about having nothing to say except how brilliantly epic this is?

36 .

I do have a bit of criticism for the last few chapters.

I know this is being a bit nitpicky, but Aperture Science's robots tend to be all solid-bodied, and I can't see how a wire would be able to coil around someone, or apply much force.

I'm fine with handwaving this (seeing how Aperture Science can do anything it wants to), but nowhere in Portal do we see that sort of tech.

37 .

@giggles
Have you SEEN the size of glados's cables? They're like the size of snakes, and if you watch her put herself back together, they're fairly dextrous, and can apply enough force to carry a huge robotic head.

38 .

They can support weight, but they're not the parts exerting the force. They're not dexterous at all from what I can see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaJ3OAchNf4

They pull, but they don't 'act on their own'.

39 .

I'm curious as to how the portals are actually landing. In the game it specificly says that portals can only be placed on surfaces with moon rock.

Unless Everything is actually made out of moon rock, or painted with moon rock paint, the protals just wouldn't stick.

40 .

Can't you two just enjoy the story as it is without nitpicking? I mean really, a little willing suspension of disbelief for he sake of enjoyment isn't really all that much to ask...

41 .

>>39

The game mentions that moon rock is a very good conductor of portals, but it also mentions that moon rocks are a) ridiculously expensive and b) poisonous. Also, Cave Johnson didn't discover that moon rocks were good for portals until the tail-end of his career, after portals had been developed and used.

I'm guessing that portals set pretty well in any sort of solid, non-reflective rock - most of Aperature seems to be concrete, and the non-portal surfaces look like they're made of metal, glass, or plastic. I'm also thinking that plaster carries portals, since you can shoot portals into the office walls in the game. Wood is a bit iffy, but I'd be willing to accept that relatively smooth wood paneling would carry portals. Since TF2 is in the American desert, which is mostly hard-packed earth, I'm thinking portals would land in the ground pretty reasonably. Too much vegetation (like a strong grass cover or a clump of shrubberies) would probably negate that, though.

I HAVEN'T THOUGHT ABOUT THIS TOO MUCH WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT.

42 .

Oh wow... um... sorry? I didn't mean to offend anyone but thanks for being honest with your criticisms. It's hard to think of convincing ways for Sniper and GLaDOS to have sex and the workings of the Portal guns-- and I know it takes a little bit of... a suspension of belief but again, sorry. I hope you guys can still enjoy this for what it is, if not, sorry again.

---

Soft, cricket-like noises tumbled out of Orange, its hand spread out over Blue’s dark optic. Spy was still staring at the gun in Sniper’s hand and just barely managed to hold his share of Blue’s weight. BLUs base was lit up like a Christmas tree, and Sniper managed to pull open RED’s warehouse door and get the four of them inside.

“I hope you’re not set on keeping these two a secret.” Spy grunted. “Because they’re hard to hide.”

Lights began to go up in RED, and Sniper knew that the Spy was right. He adjusted Blue’s weight o his shoulder and managed a humorless smile.

“We need Engie anyway.”

The Spy sighed but nodded.

“Fine.” They began the slow trek inside the hallways. “This is worth more than a favor, just so you know.”

Sniper rolled his eyes but kept moving. The doors to his teammate’s quarters started opening, and Scout scooted over the tiles in his boxers and tank top, bat in hand.

“What the—” The bat clattered to the ground. “The aliens!” He pointed at them. “Holy shit, Sniper what are you doing—?”

“Shut the fuck up and—” Scout’s mouth fell open as Sniper ground his teeth together. “Get Engie!”

It was probably the fact that Sniper actually swore that made Scout bolt to do as he was told. He came back in record time with a half-awake Engie.

“Dear Mary Mother of God.” He rubbed his eyes. “What… what are they?”

“Couldn’t tell ya.” Sniper felt numb. “The real question is, can you fix ‘im?”

::::

Engie’s workroom was worn in, homey. He wiped sweat from his brow as he gently moved his fingers inside of Blue. It made Sniper dizzy to watch, but he didn’t dare look away. Orange fidgeted nervously next to Scout and the Spy smoked a cigarette, his hands trembling slightly.

“I… Sniper, I ain’t a miracle worker.” Engie’s shoulders slumped. “I’ve never seen something like this before—I wouldn’t know where to start.”

The defeat in the slouch in Engie’s spine was unmistakable, but Sniper knew the spark of intelligent curiosity when he saw it.

“You’re the only one who’s got a shot at this.” Sniper swallowed the hot bubble in his throat. “Your counterpart on the BLU side knew how to take him apart. C’mon, Engie, you know you can put him back together.”

Orange let out a low but hopeful chirp. Engie glanced at Orange, his blue eyes soft, oddly soft for a man of combat.

“I can’t—I—”

“Bullshit, man.” Everyone turned to stare at the Scout, whose cheeks went pink before he continued. “You’re a freakin’ genius.”

By the time the Engineer took a deep breath and got to work the whole team was up and Scout was filling them in, his free hand on Orange’s shoulder. Spy was on his second pack of cigarettes when Engie hooked up electrical cables to Blue’s back.

“All right.” Engie licked his lips. “If anyone wants to pray, this is the time to do it.”

Scout crossed himself. Sniper murmured softly under his breath and the Demoman bowed his head with a “Sweet Jesus,” the Soldier took off his helmet, and Pyro clasped his gloved hands together. The Medic and Heavy were quiet but their eyes were wide and trained on Blue’s body. Engie went to the wall where he hooked up the power cords to the wall. He pulled the lever and all the lights went out in the RED base.

Sniper’s heart stuttered to a halt until the lights flickered on—and Blue’s eye lit back up as he sat up, moving woozily but whirring and chirping like his old self. Orange tore his hand out of Scout’s and hugged Blue who weakly patted Orange’s back.

Whoops and cheers filled Engie’s workroom. Scout jumped on him and Engie struggled to hold the kid up, his whole body shaking with disbelief. Spy tilted his head back.

“Thank God.”

Blue pulled out of Orange’s grasp and Sniper didn’t have a choice—he had to hug the bot. He pulled him in tight, his hat falling off. He smiled, his cheek pressed against that cool metal. The hum from Blue made Sniper’s skin buzz, which just made him laugh, and this time he’d admit that he was a bit hysteric.

“Here.” Sniper weakly lugged Blue’s gun up. “This is yours, mate.” Blue took the gun and he gave the rest of the team a weak wave. Sniper slid out of the bot’s grip and chuckled. “Man, the missus is gonna kill me.”

This time it was the Spy who choked on his cigarette.

::::

Due to the chaos that erupted over at BLU base, the war was postponed indefinitely. Sniper would have loved watch the Scout high-five the bots all night, but he had to get them home. Scout gave Blue one of his hats, and he received a tight hug from the robot.

“Whoa.” Scout smiled, his feet kicking when he was lifted off the ground. “Easy, buddy.”

Blue chirped and let the Scout go in time for Sniper to take away Spy’s cigarettes before the spook smoked himself into Respawn. He took a cigarette for himself and cleared his throat.

“Right.” Sniper spun the keys to his van around nervously in his fingers. “We should get going. Who knows how long this standstill is gonna last, and these two have been out for much too long as it is.”

The Scout opened his mouth to object but Sniper leveled the kid with a stare that made Scout’s teeth snap together quickly. The Spy walked out to the van with him, still a bit twitchy but his color was better than it was before. He managed to lift his cigarettes back out of Sniper’s pocket and was lighting up another one. Sniper nudged him gently.

“Are you all right, mate?”

Spy exhaled a large huff of smoke.

“Fine.” The spook’s blue eyes rose to meet Sniper’s. “Are you?”

Blue and Orange were already piling into the van, prodding the steering wheel. Sniper felt relief—but also severe anxiety over what she was going to do. He let out a quiet breath and shrugged with his the one shoulder that didn’t ache from carrying Blue.

“We’ll see.” He tipped his hat to Spy. “Hopefully I won’t be seeing you in Respawn.” He went to get in the van, but then paused. “Could you—make sure no one follows? Tell ‘im if they try I’ll shoot them myself.”

Spy flicked his cigarette into the sand.

“By the time this is over I won’t know what to do with all my favors.”

Sniper almost smiled.

“I’m sure you’ll think of something.”

Spy’s answering smirk rang a little hollow and Sniper closed the door to his van. Blue and Orange chirped as Sniper slid into the driver’s seat, and their metal hands grasped onto the shelves once Sniper gunned it.

::::

Sniper parked a mile away, like usual, but this time Blue and Orange shot portals that cut the trip’s time down in a way that, months ago, Sniper would have thought to be impossible. Instead, he followed them through and was at the facility within seconds.

The two more lifts especially for Blue and Orange rose from the floor almost immediately. Blue and Orange went inside, sinking down quickly. Sniper stepped to the glass lift, and when he touched it a harsh electric shock burned his fingers.

Jerking his hand away, Sniper waited for her to speak, to say something, anything. Instead, she said nothing, and Sniper leaned his forehead against the glass. It buzzed, a low, warning vibration.

“I’m sorry…”

The words were choked, and he kissed the glass. Another shock, sharper than the last, stung his lips. It burned enough to make Sniper leap back, covering his mouth. He waited for five minutes, but the doors didn’t open and she didn’t speak. Sniper turned and left, each step heavier than the last.

His lips still stung by the time he got back to his van.

::::

43 .

....Well, I don't know about others, but I sure as hell liked it. I was checking all day for this update. Poor Sniper, poor bots :( He needs GLaDOS cuddles, clearly.

44 .

a) After the end of this chapter, you now have a Sad!Cake on your hands. Congratulations.

b) Orange/Blue/DevoutCatholic!Scout is my new headcanon.

c) Captcha: Funktionen. Heh.

d) So much love for you and your story. I don't know if I've said this before (probably have), but never stop, darling!

45 .

same annon as 39.

>>40

Stop whitenighting. That shit really doesn't fly well here. They are legitimate criticizes. And just because someone criticizes something does not mean that we did not enjoy it. Cannot speak for the other, but I wouldn't still be reading this if I did not enjoy it. It is the viewer's way to help an author better themselves. The reason I even brought up the thing about the portals WAS because it had niggled at my mind. Not sure about you, but I don't just shut my mind off when I read, and it had brought me out of the story just a little. Yes this is a crossover, and is Sci-fi, but the best stories I find are usually grounded in reality, or at least the "story world's" reality. which this kinda broke, though >>41's explanation makes sense, so whatever.
tl;dr, stop whitenighting, they were legitimate criticizes

>>42
There are also some grammatical mistakes in this like: "Engie glanced at Orange, his blue eyes soft, oddly soft for a man of combat. " Looks like you had went to change it, but forgot to take out another part. Noticed this in a few more places. Do you have a Beta to look over your things?

Or, If you can't get a beta, you could try reading some of it aloud to yourself. I find that it helps with catching mistakes.

46 .

Echoing the need for a beta or a verbal line-reading - grammatical and spelling errors like Blue’s weight o his shoulder wouldn't get caught by a computer, but would be by a human.

That said, this is still a great story you've got going, and I always look forward to its updates. Your characterization of GLaDOS in particular; I'm very taken with how you've shown her development as a result of the relationship. It occurred to me the other day that, given touches like her attachment to the Companion Cube staying within the decaying Aperture facility and her initial questions to Sniper, she must be terrifically lonely. She'd have the capacity for it. I know that it turns out all right in the end, and I'm still upset she's gone back to closing herself off at the end of this chapter. So kudos to you on that front.

I'm a little curious, though - do she and Sniper ever learn each other's names?

47 .

“Man, the missus is gonna kill me.”

This time it was the Spy who choked on his cigarette.

I burst out laughing at this and couldn't stop for ages.

Poor Sniper at the end, though!

48 .

Thanks for the critiques and thoughts. The story is nearing an end... and it's been a fun ride. I hope you enjoy the update!

--

The next few weeks were full of intense interrogations from The Administrator. She questioned everyone separately. The intelligence was shoddy, since the BLU Engineer and Solider didn’t know exactly what they’d seen and kept captive. Sniper was kept in a windowless room for eight days, and he said nothing. Not when the Administrator lit her twenty-fifth cigarette, not when she used words like “traitor,” and “abomination,” and not when she said that the access of this technology would bring a new golden age to the world.

Sniper just crossed his arms and watched the smoke curl out of her nostrils from behind his aviators. He knew that the rest of the team didn’t say anything—Scout and Spy, surprisingly, made them all swear beforehand.

Then the Administrator leaned forward in her chair and blew smoke against Sniper’s sunglasses.

“And what if we were to follow your van?” Her thin, red lips curled into a wicked smirk. “What would we find then?”

Sniper followed her example and leaned into the smoke.

“You would find me.” Sniper growled low in his throat. “And I think we both agree that I am a very dangerous man.”

The Administrator grimaced but leaned back in her chair. She rolled her eyes and he was dismissed for the first time in days. His legs ached and every time he moved his right shoulder a sharp pain would make him wince—but he didn’t care. He went into the main room, and everyone looked up at him.

Sniper took a breath and let his lips curl a little, and Scout jumped up and whooped.

“Fuck yes!” Cards went flying everywhere. “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!”

Demoman made him take a sip from the swill he kept in his flask while saying something garbled, but it sounded nice so Sniper appreciated the thought. They made a big meal and snickered when the Administrator announced that the BLU team was being evaluated for psychological problems since they “appear to be delirious.”

Sniper stood since the thought of sitting was unbearable. He rubbed at his face, when he didn’t shave the messy hairs always itched. A gloved hand slid over his shoulder and a wine bottle was shoved into his hand. The Spy was at his side with a separate bottle of wine in his other hand.

With a tired smile, Sniper raised the bottle, gently tapping it against Spy’s before taking a long sip. It was sweet, fruity almost, but Sniper couldn’t bring himself to comment on it. Instead they just went outside into the twilight. They walked around the fortress, sipping their wine in silence. It wasn’t until they were shrouded in the darkness that came with desert nights that Spy finally spoke.

“I thought you’d be happier.”

Sounds of celebration, muffled but still merry, came from the inside of the base. Sniper should be with Scout and the others, cracking open beers too fast so that it sprayed all over them, singing songs with Demoman and Engie, and arm-wrestling Solider until the early morning. Instead… he was outside with the spook sipping wine right out of the bottle like a bag lady.

“I am.”

Spy nodded slowly, his eyebrows raised in way that didn’t even hide the fact that he didn’t believe a word out of Sniper’s mouth. He let out a rather dramatic breath.

“I never took you for a coward, bushman.”

A flash of red passed over Sniper’s mind and he snapped into sobriety.

“What did you call me?”

“Cowardly.” Spy had the nerve to smile. Sniper clenched his free fist, his knuckles cracking. The spook took an inelegant slug of his wine. “Not with the…” He struggled for a discrete word. “Kids, but with your lady.”

Sniper wouldn’t admit, even under pain of death, just how much that stung. Instead, he just snatched a cigarette from inside Spy’s lapel. Spy lit it for him and the smoke whispered between Sniper’s fingers.

“It was my fault those two were taken. If they hadn’t been visiting me in the first place—the BLUs never woulda gotten a hold of ‘em.”

The Spy scoffed.

“You and I both know that’s not true. Fate is cruel—and unpredictable. And things worth keeping are never acquired easily.”

Sniper laughed, but it sounded empty to his own ears.

“Are all Frenchmen bloody romantics?” Spy shrugged, unashamed. Sniper’s shoulders slumped. “I’m being watched—closer than ever and—”

There was a puff of Red smoke, and Sniper found himself staring at… himself.

“The adjustments on the cloaking devices are easy to make.” Sniper had to admit; the Spy was a damned good impersonator. It was eerie, lookin’ at a perfect reflection. “Of course, you can’t take your van. You’d have to be up for a hike.”

Sniper grinned.

“I owe ‘ya, mate.”

Spy, in the form of Sniper, laughed.

“Oh believe me, I know.”

::::

The key to any long journey was to pack lightly, only the essentials.

Sniper left his banjo and only took his rifle and two canteens. He left within minutes, shaking Spy’s hand and making him promise not to pick on the Soldier or Scout while he was gone.

Of all the journeys Sniper had made in his life, the one back to the facility was not the longest or shortest Sniper has ever made—but he was willing to concede that it was the most important. He hid his tracks and stayed out of sight, only traveling at night.

He was almost out of water by the time his boot hit grass. Sniper rubbed his face. After all this was over, he was going to have to shave. He stepped over blown in bits of leaves and glass. He didn’t go for the elevator—instead, he went for the stairs.

Rifle out and ready, Sniper crept down the stairs. The metal creaked, and when it fell Sniper was ready to jump to the more stable part of it—which of course just made it unstable. Sniper grimaced but went down as gracefully as he could. He looked up—and unless there was another set of stairs that Sniper didn’t know about—the only way back was with the elevator.

“Hello?”

Sniper pressed his back against the wall, ready for them. When he turned around the corner, the answering gunfire wasn’t a surprise, merely an assurance as Sniper took out the turrets quickly and efficiently. No bullets were wasted, and he reloaded and continued on.

The lights went up, but that was it. She didn’t talk to him and Sniper figured that maybe he deserved that.

He kept moving, eventually coming to metal railings that seemed to go down deeper into the facility. So deep that when Sniper looked down, all he saw was ominous white fog that made him feel a bit queasy, so he kept his eyes forward instead of down. Sniper followed the rails, past big pipes where things zipped by. At another time, he might have stopped and taken a look at the marvels of technology. Instead, he concentrated on the gaps in the railway and jumping across it.

He came to two circular doors, which opened automatically for him.

The hallway had black and white tiles with a walkway where the walls were surrounded by glass. It led to the atrium, and Sniper walked along the tiles until a final door opened—

Inky black darkness made Sniper blink, his eyes struggling to adjust to the dark as he stepped inside. The door hissed shut behind him and her yellow eye was the only light, which was trained on him.

Sniper took off his hat, and opened his mouth but she beat him to it.

“You’ve been dragging dirt all over my facility.”

Sniper blinked, and then looked down at himself. The week of interrogation coupled with the hike over to the facility did leave him to be in a far from pristine state. He scratched idly at his light beard.

“No blood this time, though.”

The panels beneath him hummed a little, and Sniper moved closer to her. When she didn’t stop him, he stood a few feet away from her. Her body moved in the dark, he could hear the low, steady whirr surround him as a video screen went up.

Sniper wasn’t sure what he was expecting to be on that screen—but he could honestly say that he didn’t predict to see an image of himself. The screen was an orange tint, and the image was frozen for a moment.

Then it began to play.

Sniper watched himself move forward, the jerky camera following him. He had his knife out—and Sniper realized it was a video of him at the BLU base. Orange must have been filming him—or maybe it was just a part of the little bot’s memory.

The video showed Sniper leaping over a table and slicing the BLU Engineer’s throat open while keeping him silent in one swift move.

“Your reflexes are impressive.” She moved closer to him, and the video replayed. “No hesitation.” The BLU Engineer kept dying, and Sniper kept on keeping him silent. “No fear. Very… very efficient.”

By the time she finished she was right next to him. Sniper turned his head to the side and his skin brushed against her cool metal. When she didn’t pull away, he smiled against her side and kissed her… and he realized that it was the first time he’d done so.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

The “for you,” wasn’t said, but Sniper knew she heard it by the way a lighter; barely-there shock went through his lips. It tickled and just like that Sniper felt fantastic, better than he had in weeks. He kissed her again, and when his stubble dragged across her metal he was rewarded with a hum and a cord around his neck, firmly pulling him back without actually choking off his air supply.

“You need a bath.” The video screen flickered off and Sniper grinned in the dark as more and more of her cords wrapped around him, pressing against his already aching erection. “You’re filthy.”

Her voice held no disgust—Sniper had heard her purr like that before. He leaned his head back and let his nails scrape over the rubber—her vibrations increasing.

“O-Oh, darlin.” White sparks were already dancing in his vision, his cheeks hot and his muscles quivering as she lifted him higher until his boots couldn’t scrape the ground anymore. He was completely and utterly in her capable hands. “I missed you too.”

::::

49 .

Oh I love this story, and I will be sad to see it end. But that's the thing with good stories, they all find their end someday. I'm very happy I got to read this story.

50 .

Dear GOD why is there no fanart for this yet.

51 .

Oh this is beautiful, I'll be sad to see it go.

52 .

Warm water washed away all the dirt that had built up on Sniper’s body. He lathered up soap and spread it on his face, a towel around his waist as he glanced in the mirror, his knife in his hand. He dragged the blade across his skin slowly, shaving away his beard.

When the door hissed open he looked to the side to see Blue and Orange. He grinned.

“Hello, kids.” He rose, his face half covered with soap, in time for them to pull him into a tight, metal hug. “Yeah, yeah, I missed you little buggers too.”

Chirps and low hums made him jump, his skin still a little sensitive from his lovely lady’s affections. He struggled to keep his towel up as he finished shaving, Blue and Orange staying with him and watching with fascination. He got changed into the orange pants he was used to now and walked with them to the atrium.

His rifle was on top of the Companion Cube and he took it off and slung it over his shoulder. Sniper went to her, and she lifted the floor panel so he was eye-to-eye with her. He ran his hand down her side, and he knew that his smile was probably too warm, too soft, but he couldn’t bring himself to care.

Sniper leaned in and kissed her, receiving a small shock that would keep him warm no matter where he ended up. His fingers lingered on her side, only leaving when she lowered him back to the floor much more gently than he was accustomed to.

“There’s a bedroom made.” At Sniper’s surprised expression, she let out an annoyed, electric sigh. “It was hardly difficult, the design of a master bedroom is disgustingly simple.”

Sniper put his hat on as the elevator doors opened.

“Well… thank you.” The thing about her was it wasn’t about what she said—it was what she didn’t say. It was the questions she didn’t ask, whether it was out of pride or something else, Sniper wasn’t sure. She informed him of a bedroom—but she didn’t ask him to stay, which was the real message, if Sniper was reading her correctly. “I have a contract. But once it’s run out… I’d love to see it.”

She paused, and then her eye brightened. He stepped into the lift and soon found himself back on the rickety first floor, sunbeams coming through the leaves.

He made his way back to the base as quickly and quietly as he could, and when he stepped into his trailer he found the Spy longing on his bed, still in disguise as Sniper. The Spy looked up, and soon he was back to looking like his normal, balaclava-wearing self.

“About time.” His eyes traveled up to Sniper’s neck, and he smirked. “It went well, I gather.”

Sniper rolled his eyes.

“It wasn’t too hard being me, was it, spook?”

The Spy stood, brushing himself off even though he wasn’t dirty.

“Of course not.”

::::

The next morning the Engineer made scrambled eggs and toast. It was back to work as usual, more bullets, blood, and carnage that seemed to never end. It was tiring, and there were weeks where Sniper couldn’t go back to the facility. But sometimes… during the card games with Scout and cigarettes with Spy—Sniper would find things that would make those times easier. There were times when Scout would nudge Sniper’s boot with his sneaker and say, “how are those punks?” and the Engineer would smile knowingly at Sniper when he went away on the weekends.

And of course… there was her and the little troublemakers she liked to call test subjects. After what seemed like a lifetime, after endless deaths and rebirths— Sniper drove his van out of the fort for the last time. He took his banjo and left his rifle and stepped out of his van, his boots barely making a sound on the grass.

The deer looked up, and she had fawns around her. Sniper tipped his hat to her before heading inside.

Sniper couldn’t stop bouncing on the tips of his toes, and he was grinning by the time the lift stopped in her atrium. Things were normal, several video screens were up and she was working on improving the facility, as always. Sniper was almost whistling and she idly glanced down at him before analyzing a test chamber on one of the upper floors.

“You’re awfully happy.” He could hear her rolling her eyes, and if anything, it made his grin widen. “Is the weather nice outside or something? Or maybe it’s a senseless holiday…”

“The weather’s fine, darlin.” He took off his hat. “I saw a family of deer on the way down though.” That got her to pause, but she kept on working and Sniper sauntered closer to her. Even though she was preoccupied and looking at several different screens at once, the floor panel lifted up anyway so he could kiss her. “My contract is up.”

The shock that passed through his lips was stronger than usual—startled almost. He waited, his lips ghosting across her metal. The screens changed, and instead of fading to black they became white. The whole atrium hummed and Sniper bounced on his toes again.

He was lowered to the floor, and that yellow eye never left his warm gaze.

“I take it you’re ready to see the bedroom.”

Sniper nodded, smiling when the walls opened up into a hallway with a blue path lit up.

“Yes, ma’am.” He couldn’t help his wink. “That is, if you’ll have me.”

A hypnotic purr echoed throughout the whole facility.

“Oh… I intend to.”

Sniper smiled. He was finally home.


… The End...

--

My friend and I always throw ideas back and forth for the Sniper and GLaDOS, so there may be some epilogues of sorts coming here. But then again, who knows. Anyway, it’s been a fun ride and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!

53 .

Let me take a deep breath here, D'awwwww

That was so awesome! I'd like to see some more epilogue after the prologue and after the main bit oneshot.

54 .

I think I have a hernia in my face from smiling so hard.

55 .

You know what's weird?
I was listening to the Cara Mia Turret Opera from Portal 2... and then I saw this...

56 .

I love you. but i wanna know what happens in that freaking room!!! this is the second time you finish a story with them going to a bedroom! I WANNA KNOW! it kills me inside! and now the story is over ... and i still wanna know my brain fills me with infinite details to their xxx glados sniper fun times in the room... but i am awful at writing for the most part and i didnt start this trend and also... your writing is way better. I love this and i love you!i wish for more if ever possible.

57 .

>>56

Underage b&.

58 .

Sniper as the hero and the gentleman and the lover and the hunter and I honestly cannot be happier than I am right at this moment with those shock kisses and Oh my Lord I cannot believe just how wonderful this is~!

59 .

I have this gigantic grin I can't get off my face. I blame it on you. Thanks for this story, although I do wish you would have continued on just a wee bit.

It has been a pleasure reading this, please never leave the chan.

60 .

wat?

61 .

He said your UNDERAGE.
Because your acting very underage. Stop that squeeing stuff.... It makes you look like a kid. Just giving you a heads up so you don't get banned.

62 .

61 not yaru, but I don't see any squeeing there. Sounds borderline underage.
I still agree though, I reread that message and it seems off somehow.

63 .

If I could check IPs on the text boards, I could get a better idea of how yaru typically writes, or if they happen to be a non-native English speaker. Very hard to tell, but I'll be keeping an eye out.

64 .

I dunno, doesn't seem any different from the usual gushing I see. Not that I think it's undeserved.

65 .

I'm hispanic and yes I always write like that I'm sorry.

66 .

>>61

*you're

67 .

>>61
*She :)

68 .

Forgot to sage, sorry.

69 .

>>67

Same Anon from 66 and I love you, Feather.

70 .

>>69

I'm flattered :D But why?

71 .

Brilliant story. Glados and Sniper...

Also, Spy and Sniper's friendship is the best! This is why I can't understand people shipping them, they just seem so natural as friends.
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