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No. 3485
Newfag here! Here's the first chapter of my newfagstory. It got off to a slow start, but I intend to see this through to the bitter end as it signifies my de-lurking.

WELP! Let's get this painfest started!

----

Curiosity was an infectious little bug, an invasive species that came in to wreck havoc on their “ecosystem,” to put it in such terms. It spread without discrimination, affecting any and all its tiny fangs could reach. It razed any defenses built to impede the outbreak, hit without mercy and refused to leave until it was satisfied, and it never was. This devastating disease was an unstoppable but predictable force that came with every mysterious little briefcase left at RED base.

Like the supply trains, Respawn or the omnipotent, Orwellian-type monstrosity that was The Announcer; the briefcase was another enigma RED team had no explanation for. It was brought to them by some invisible force whenever new intelligence was gathered, showing up in the Intelligence Room when no one was around, heralding with it another battle. No one possessed a key or combination to unlock its secrets and the unspoken fear of divine retribution from the Big Brother types running their operations prevented anyone from finding other means to crack the smart-little red case.

The only thing they knew was BLU wanted it, and that they were out for blood if it meant getting it. RED was no different, this was a song they’ve danced to a hundred times before. Both teams played by the same rules; get the briefcase, bring it home and wait for…their /benefactors/ to come to collect. Opening the briefcase was not in the job description. But there were rumors, there always was. And like a forum, debated over when it came time for the briefing before the battle to capture the opposing forces’ own mystery box.

Crammed together in the Intelligence Room with only one fan that was in poor repair, this briefing, like all the others, was hot, stuffy and loud. Between everyone’s two cents being tossed around to Soldier’s mostly ignored cries of insubordination as he attempted to beat them all with the nonexistent chain of command; it was hard to decipher one conversation from another and went from “briefing” to “madhouse” in record time. And like all their past briefings, it went on like this until a gun went off.

The one with the smoking barrel this time was the Spy. It was usually he that broke apart their squabbles for he was not much for shouting and had an even shouter amount of patience for the unproductive. From his corner of the room, image blurred by the cloud of cigarette smoke that so often surrounded him, he was dusting off his fine, pressed suit the bits of ceiling that were breaking off from the bullet hole above him with an expression that Scout described as someone who had their cornflakes pissed in. All eyes turned to Spy as he tucked his flashy Ambassador revolver back into its concealed holster.

“Gentlemen,” his accented voice smooth over the layer of sarcasm that came with that word when used in present company. “If you all are quite finished, I believe za matter at ‘and ‘as escaped you all, non?”

Soldier was first to respond and in a decidedly not-so-civil manner; “Horseshit, son. We were planning our offensive on those BLU maggots before you blew a hole through the wall!”

Spy’s face soured along with his tone as he pointed an accusing cigarette in the Soldier’s face. “First of all, zat was za ceiling I just shot, imbécile. Second, za way I ‘eard et, you were screaming at za top of your lungs while everyone else was ignoring you en favor of throwing around crack pot theories about what is in zat damnable briefcase again!”

The Soldier began to sputter indignantly. “I was taking control! I almost took the lead of the briefing before you jumped in!”

A short, harsh bark of a laugh was Spy’s reply, inciting an even angrier response from Soldier. “MORE INSUBORDINATION, THAT’S ALL YOU’RE GOOD FOR, SPY!”

Spy continued to laugh; “Excusez-moi, Soldier. But /lead/? HA! You couldn’t lead a parade.”

“I’ll lead my foot up your ass if you keep undermining my authority, maggot!”

“Like zer is any authority to undermine!”

Up until that point, the rest of the team settled on being spectators, as they so often did during such confrontations. But the humdrum of this business-as-usual cockfight was broken when the unlikeliest of people. Pyro, a man of little words and even littler articulation, drew in everyone’s attention when he piped up with; “Mmph mph camph cumph hmph tmph dmph wmph dmmph Rrrmamph.”

His mumbles were loud despite the thick, fire-retardant mask through which they had to pass. Everyone instinctively turned to Medic, who, despite his own limitations in the English language, was Pyro’s best translator.

Medic coughed awkwardly into his gloved fist, “Herr Pyro said; /Maybe ze case has somezink to do with ze Reschpawn./”

A hush fell over the team, Spy and Soldier even seemed to forget they were fighting. Pyro’s comment vocalized an unspoken disturbance in the team. As of two months ago, the Respawn, the mysterious technology that kept both team practically immortal, was having a…hiccup of sorts. Up until then, if one was killed in action, they would immediately reappear in the resupply room, unharmed, mad as hell and ready for more. But recently, there have been numerous incidents of team members respawning with little or no memory in the events leading up to their temporary death or, in rare but worse case scenarios, with not all of their injuries healed. Just about every RED now how at least one or two burn or bullet scars to call their own.

The quite that ensued was awkward and heavy as everyone mulled over this, as such, Spy was very careful when he decided to end it. “Zat…could be a possibility.”

The wave of murmurs both excited and worried, between the rest of the team caused Spy to vehemently add that it was just a possibility and that it changed nothing. “We cannot even open ze damn things, so zis is what you call a moot point.” He was sure to emphasize.

“’S not like we ever tried,” Scout argued.

“That’s breaking regs, soldier!” Soldier bit back as if Scout just uttered a vulgar word.

Scout threw his arms back in a showy display of smug defiance, “Yeah? Whadda they gonna do ‘bout it? Way I see it, we’re alone out here save for that screamin’ harpy-bitch, and even then it’s a just a voice. I say we do whatevah the fuck we please!”

“We don’t know what could happen!” Engineer countered.

“Aside from breaking regs like a bunch a maggot degenerates!” Soldier said, making the prospect of going against established rules out to be the most contemptible of all things.

Soon, shouts expressing both sides of the matter erupted among them. Regressing into two sides passionately split down the middle, tensions rocketed into full blown aggression.

“Ahm with the boy,” Demoman boomed loudly.

“You would be,” said Sniper, whom up until this point had almost been as quite as Pyro. This, however, was due more to contempt of conversation in general.

“Whut was that, ya mackerel snappin’ dandy?” Demoman snarled back.

“Low blow, ya bleeding prod. Come say that to my face.”

Demoman made a “bring it” gesture with his hands. Sniper about obliged, but was cut short, as was the entire issue when the Alarm-a-Tron 5000 blared its siren, soon followed by the smoky but imposing voice of The Announcer;

/MISSION BEGINS IN SIXTY SECONDS/

Their yells of arguing switched immediately to blame games and self-deprecation, all wrapped up in a hurricane of movement as the REDs scrambled to the exit.

“Shit fucking shit, man! We didn’t plan shit!”

“You vant a plan? Shoot ze schweinehunds! Zer, zer ist your plan!”

“QUITE YER BITCHING, LADIES. THERE’S A WAR ON!”

“Mates, where’s Pyro?”

Everyone stopped long enough to catch a glimpse of Pyro running like a bat out hell out of the Intelligence Room with more fervor then even he was known for. Scout summed it up best with, “What lit a’fire under his ass?”

“I suggest we follow ze Pyro’s lead, gentlemen!” Spy yelled in frustration.

All in agreement, the team, by some struck of luck, made it to the resupply room before the thirty second mark was announced. While they prepared during the tense few moments before the gates opened, everyone took notice how Pyro got their first, something common with Scout and not the enthusiastic but waddling Pyro. No one spoke of it, there was no time.

"Five."

"Four."

"Three."

"Two."

"/One./"

Business as usual.

Scout was the first to bolt out of the gate, rocketing into the firefight on nothing but instinct. It was in this whirlwind of motion and confusion that he, the kamikaze of the team, began to appreciate the value of prior planning, even for an almost routine mission such as this one. Zigzagging through the base, the pipelines where in his mind’s eye, but in his peripheral he saw the effect bickering over strategy had on the REDs; Pyro, Sniper and Spy were nowhere to be seen, Engineer was hollering at Demoman over the shrieks of gunfire for blasting what was going to be a sentry spot, Medic and Heavy were almost two yards apart from one another before they realized they had dash off in separate directions. It was a messy operation from the start, and that almost always spelled trouble with a capital Shit.

Undaunted, however, Scout pressed on, as while he had the capacity to appreciate forethought, he was in his element in the art of unpredictability. The pipelines were the territories of the Pyros and Spies, not a place Scout was often expected and he used this to his advantage. Getting their quick and early, he trekked the underground passage into BLU base without confrontation.

When Scout managed to make the mad dash into the BLU base, it now seemed, by dumb luck alone, BLU was too preoccupied dealing with the erratic behavior of the rest of RED team above to notice one little Scout zip by. The perfect distraction for someone who needed to steal a briefcase and get the hell out of dodge without coming out with more holes in them than Swiss cheese.

Rounding the corner into the Intelligence Room, Scout’s mouth was bone dry as it twisted in a smug, satisfied grin. In and out, and he’d have bragging right until the next mission. His holier-than-thou attitude made his stomach flop even harder when he saw that there was in fact, no sign of the BLU briefcase once inside.

“Friggin’ unbelievable!” He shouted, hands up in the air as better illustrate his outrage. “What the hell is this? Ain’t no one, but no one could beat me to this!”

Before he could take any of his displeasure out on any unsuspecting windows or furniture, he heard a rustling noise out from behind the desk. He reacted fast, as was his nature, cocking his scattergun, he leaped up onto the desk in one energetic bound, aiming downward, expecting a fight. What he got, was the RED Pyro, face down on the floor, clutching the briefcase despite being obviously unconscious.

“WHOAWHOA/WHOA/!” Was Scout’s best articulation of this as he hopped down by his teammate’s side, unsure of what to do; first, he grabbed the briefcase.

Training told him Pyro would just Respawn, but a nagging voice in the back of his head was telling him that would not be the case. This wasn’t a kill; it was safe to say Pyro hadn’t even been attacked. Scout saw nothing that hinted to violence. But time was precious, and Scout couldn’t afford to stand around, even if it meant leaving Pyro behind. Thinking on his feet, literally, Scout made ran back out of the Intelligence Room, planning as he went.

The smartest course of action, was to alert Medic in the process of getting the intelligence to RED base before something /did/ happen to Pyro. He was a sitting duck, lying there back at BLU base, and they’ve no doubt already been alerted. The hiccup in the Respawn further intensified this anxiety as he made his way through the pipelines, guessing he’s run into Medic on the other side.

He guessed right. Coming out of the pipelines, he could see Heavy and Medic defending the front of the base, as was their standard strategy. Tightening his hold of the briefcase slung over his back, he kept his head low as he bee lined for the pair. Flinging himself, back against the wall that was adjacent the entrance Heavy was so violently defending with Medic supporting him from behind, Scout screamed over the deafening rain of Minigun fire .

“MEDIC!”

Medic jerked back, careful still though, to keep his Medigun steady on his charge as Scout successfully caught his attention. His expression was one of horror once he noticed an apparently healthy Scout just standing there, with the briefcase no less.

“VAT ARE YOU DOINK? GET ZAT BACK TO ZE BASE. /DUMMKOPF/!”

Scout tried to keep it short; “Pyro…Pryo’s down, man. Back at BLU base, shit, and he can’t exactly defend himself!”

Amidst the chaos, Heavy shouted something and pushed Medic further into the building and in closer proximity to Scout. Medic, now pinned as the middle of a wall and Heavy sandwich, made an attempt at a sneer between the two very immovable objects.

“So? Let Herr Pyro Reschpawn, he probably has already!”

Scout made an alternating hopping motion on his feet in irritation.

“That ain’t it, Doc. He didn’t take a freaking slug ta’ the head, he passed out! Like, fainted all damsel-y an’ shit!”

Medic seemed to take this into consideration, and final, with an inaudible sigh as the Minigun was still whirring like a beast he said, “Fine, fine /fine/! You, get zat intelligence to za base, Heavy und I vill see to it zat Herr Pyro is rescued. Just go- RAUS, RAUS!”

Despite being pinned, he managed made a hurrying motion with his hands. Scout gave a two-fingered salute and acted swiftly on his marching orders.

The mission ended shortly after. Damage was taken on both sides, but RED had the victory in the end. Scout, ever the ham, had spent a good while after that making sure everyone one on base knew of his accomplishments in showy boasts of self-appreciation and a few minor exaggerations. As if on tour, he went around base, visiting the rest of the team just to make sure they acknowledged the sheer awesome that was radiating from his very being. Only when his little tour reached the infirmary did he think to put it momentarily aside to see if Pyro had successfully been collected from BLU base and intact. When he got down to what was, with no knowledge to Medic, been affectionately referred to as “the evil laboratory,” was his question answered for him.

Loitering outside the evil lair in question was the entirety of RED team, sans Medic and Pyro. They formed a tight horseshoe, backs to Scout, whispering in low voices, all with looks ranging from grim to perplexed. Scout curled his lip in a scoff, “You all look like you’re at a funeral or something.”

The team turned around and noticed him; their faces didn’t waver, although some intensified in their bleakness. Scout didn’t like it.

“What…Pyro didn’t actually…” His voice trailed off, a sheet of dread forming in his lungs. No way, he told himself, no way Respawn could’ve failed like that, no way could this all become that deadly, for all of them.

Before anyone could say anything, the infirmary doors swung open, Medic charging out, wiping flecks of blood from his face with a faded white handkerchief. The blood was his, they all knew it without looking closely. Pyro guarded his identity viciously, so if he was conscious at anytime of Medic’s examination, he would’ve fought tooth and nail to keep his identity just that. Unknown.

“Yo, Doc, don’t tell me Pyro-”

Medic silenced him with stern glance before turning to address the rest of them team. “I suppose you’re all vonderink vhy I called you all down ‘ere.”

No one spoke, their guesses were far too dooming.

Medic just went on, “It seems, ve have anozer problem on our hands zan just the recent failures vith ze Reschpawn.”

“Another one?” echoed Engineer.

Medic nodded in the affirmative. “Team, Herr Pyro…no, I shouldn’t say zat,” he paused to cough into his curled fist.

The air hung heavy with apprehension, and they were starting to get restless.

“Get bloody on with it, doctor!” Snapped Sniper, “What? Is Pyro sick or something, then?”

“…Dependink on your opinion of such a matter, zen ja.” Medic replied slowly.

Glances and whispers of confusion were exchanged throughout the team.

“Team…” Medic gingerly took off his glasses to wipe them on his coat, “I have concluded our Pyro ist now three months expecting.”

----

....Wait, don't leave it! The only thing I can promise is this trying very hard to not just be a lolPyro isagirl story. It's a secondary plot, I swear! D8
Marked for deletion (old)
>> No. 3486
Kalte~ I already told you, but I love it!

Although, I can't remember if I expressed my anticipation for more.
>> No. 3491
Intrigued I am.
>> No. 3502
Well don't just leave us hanging here! CONTINUE!
>> No. 3506
Whoa, whoa, what.
This looks like potential awesome. But, curse your cliffhangers.
>> No. 3509
... You have my attention.

And a lot of questions which I expect to be answered.
>> No. 3577
SUDDENLY, ACCENTS. EVERYWHERE!

----

If curiosity was a plague, denial was a tumor. Stowing away in them all, slumbering until it was stirred like an attack dog when something for it to latch onto strayed to close. You never “caught” it; it was always there, waiting to come out of remission. Denial, conversely, was just as poisonous as it was alluring; the less painful way to go, blissful in its ignorance.

Crowded outside the infirmary, everyone on RED team, save the stern-faced Medic, were falling into deceptively safe arms of their malignant denial. As they resorted to such coping mechanisms as finding the floor an infinitely more interesting thing to look at then facing each other, they were, in Medic’s eyes, being pathetic. Demoman, at least, had the nerve enough to speak, putting voice to their disbelief.

“Do ye wannah run that by us again, doc?”

Medic, adjusting his glasses back onto the crook of his noise, as if it required more attention than his colleges, sighed heavily. "Her-…/Pyro/ ist pregnant.” Medic could almost hear the gag-crickets chirping as he looked at all their faces.

Soldier, scratching his scalp under that nigh irremovable helmet of his, was in the lead for the most thoroughly confused. “Er…come again that, private, you’re losing us, here.” He said, as apparently Medic was speaking in some indefinable moon language.

“Mein Gott,” Medic slapped a hand over his forward, minding his glasses, “Pyro ist /pregnant/, as in, has a uterus, as in about sech months, Heavy’s conschtant ‘team ist babies’ insults are about have some credit to zem! Vot are you /not/ underschtanding?”

His outburst was returned with vacant stares that had only marginally let up. Engineer then stepped in on his team’s behalf, “Go easy on 'em, doc,” his level Texan accent buffering the daggers being thrown at him in Medic’s stare, “this ain’t yer typical news. We’re just…shocked, is all.”

Medic’s hackles lowered, Engineer was almost insufferable in his peace-keeping abilities. Medic’s voice lowered to a softer growl, “I vas not exactly exschpecting zis myself, Herr Engineer, in fact…” His voice trailed; pressing a gloved thumb between his teeth, Medic started pacing with a deeply contemplative expression, like he was staring at a puzzle. “Ist strange, very strange zat zis could’ve have gone unnoticed for such a time. Und not just za pregnancy, za mere fact Herr Pyro ist no ‘Herr’ at all’.”

Before anyone could say anything, Scout, slowly coming out of a shellshock-like daze, wasted no time at pointy fingers. “Yeah, I have theory. Spy here sucks at his job.” He accused, jabbing a thumb in Spy’s direction.

Spy, looking nothing short of completely affronted, promptly got right into Scout’s face. “Excusez-moi, boy? Are you trying to imply some’sing?” He barked, stabbing a finger into Scout’s chest.

“Yes, what is leetle Scout saying?” Heavy rumbled from his corner of the horseshoe.

Scout rolled his shoulders back and his chest puffed out in a primal display of confidence. Smacking away Spy’s hand, Scout went off; “You heard me, frogs legs,” Scout’s voice started to rise, drawing in everyone’s attention, “way I see it, if you were as half as good as you say, you coulda figured out something as simple as one’a your co-workers havin’ freakin’ girl parts!”

Spy opened his mouth, but Scout was off again before he could’ve even gotten a syllable out.

“Unless you /did/ know and you were a sick enough bastard to knock him up!”

Shock crossed Spy’s face, only to be quickly replaced with rage that reddened his face so deeply that you couldn’t tell his skin from his mask. “’Ow /dare/ you, you little-”

“Hey man, you’re the ‘lady killah master a’ espionage,’ betcha sniffed him out faster than you could say bonk.” Scout was damned and determined not to let Spy finish a sentence.

“You shouldink be using ze male pronouns regarding Herr…ze Pyro.” Medic supplied, going unheard due to the fact Scout just dropped a very serious blame.

Hands balled into fists and planted firmly on his hips, Scout was properly posed in the ‘well, what-do-you-have-say’ position, waiting in the awkward hush he created for Spy to fill it. Spy was shaking from head to toe, and it wasn’t because he exhausted his hoard of cigarettes before the supply train could refill it. Taking a step forward, he got so close to Scout’s face, he could smell the caffeine spilling out of the quick little bastard’s breathe. Brows furrowed, nostrils flared, his voice a venomous hiss; “Listen ‘ere, boy, stalking you violent monkeys was not in my job description and if eet were and I ‘ad even za slightest clue, I would never, /never/ act in such a manner.”

That was when the suspicious murmurs started and Spy began to notice the half-convinced looks being shared between the rest of his colleagues. He turned to them all, in complete disbelief as they didn’t even look him in the eye.

“I do not believe zis, I do not believe all of you! ‘Ow can you /listen/ to zis…zis /CHILD/ and ’is empty accusations!” He would later admit that stamping his foot while saying this was a bit much.

“It is a bit off that you wouldn’t be knowin’, this, mate. Can’t blame us for not thinking you’ve done a bit a dirty laundry searching ‘ere.” Sniper pointed out in a quiet, apprehensive tone. This did very little to alleviate Spy’s hissyfit.

“/’ow dare you,/” it was Sniper’s turn to get a face full of pissed-off Spy, “I will ‘ave you know, ‘ad I known, I wouldn’t ‘ave touched zat…zat…/soulless abomination/ even if eet was Audrey ‘epburn under zere!”

After his impassioned defense, the red flush started to fade from Spy’s face, and, after giving one indignant tug of his pressed notched lapels, excited a squeak of expensive Italian leather-on-laminate flooring as he turned sharply on his heels to leave. Stomping off with as much dignity as one could after such a spat, almost made a clean getaway until someone had the poor judgment to ask where he was going. This was, apparently, the /worst/ possible thing to ask him.

Spy’s stride went unbroken and his gaze firmly planted away from his colleagues as he gave them a rather snappish answer;

“My /job/, mon ami,” he tensed visibly with every word, but kept walking, “While you’re all standing around ‘ere, gossiping like schoolgirls, someone needs to watch zat briefcase and make sure it doesn’t disappear like all za ozzers.”

The weighty metal door leading to the stairwell out slammed, and he was gone. It was a slap across the face for all of them. While this was all indeed a very serious matter and a shockingly revelation, they were letting it take precedence over a graver situation that effected them as a whole. No one had really talked about Respawn since the morning briefing and, while it had been their plan, what to actually do with their recently acquired intelligence had stopped there. Fact was, they had little clue what to do with the gamble they were making taking matters into their own hands.

They had nothing. It wasn’t so much fear of retribution as it was the conundrum of what to actually /do/ with the briefcase. The bothersome Pandora’s Box they had on their hands was proving to be an absolute bitch to open. It had been agreed upon at the mission’s end that this required a deft touch, and as little damage to the briefcase as possible was required. Picking the lock has proved fruitless, and random numbers rolled onto its numbered lock also did nothing. They couldn’t crack it, and more hands-on (and explosive) means were out of the question. As of now, all they could do was guard it and keep it out of reach of the invisible forces that would come to collect once their backs were turned, and it was absolutely maddening.

“Vell,” began Medic, clapping his hands together and speaking in a chipper tone as if this was all a job well done; “if you vould all kindly get za hell out, I have von problem too many on mein hands. Go play var room elsevhere.” Preemptively dodging another dispute among their ranks, he disappeared back into the infirmary.

Medic waited next to door until the small crowd outside gradually diminished to nothing. He understood their bemusement, or in a case or two, annoyance; their little boys’ club was no longer and that certainly would be the cause of some discomfort among them, not to mention the questions that still hung in the air. But the last thing he needed was them to be distracted, especially when it got in the way of /his/ job. He hoped shooing them away would give them incentive enough to concentrate on the problems that could be solved now. Or at least argue /away/ from him. Either way, he was satisfied. Now free to go about his business, Medic pulled his shockingly red gloves at their brims, tighter against his hands and went to go check in on Pyro.

Pyro was coming out from under the influence of the sedatives Medic had administered earlier. Still masked and mostly suited, though, telltale but subtle movements were his only hints that Pyro was waking up. Waiting for her to regain lucidity, Medic mulled over things a bit. It was obvious why now, yes, but this was one of only two times Pyro had ever been in the infirmary. The first time was when they had all just arrived; Medic got one glove off for a routine injection before the little manic clawed his face and dashed off. It all made sense now; meals taken to personal quarters, waking up at odd hours of the night to the sounds of the shower room being used, never taking off that suit even in the rec. room. Pyro’s determinedness was almost admirable.

Medic’s train of thought was brought to a halt when he noticed Pyro up and sitting on the edge of the examination table. He (despite Medic’s best efforts, he still couldn’t get out of the bait of using male pronouns) must’ve suited back up when Medic was too busy being lost in own thoughts. Sitting there, legs swinging slightly, you could’ve confused Pyro with an apprehensive child in a doctor’s office despite the bulky, flame-retardant suit. Had it been anyone else, they would’ve at least heisted with what Medic did next.

The sound of the latex of his gloves striking against the rubbery material of Pyro’s mask as his open palm struck was considerably louder and more dramatic then the actual strike would’ve produced under “normal” circumstances, but it certainly jarred Pyro out of any lingering effects of the sedative. Medic was wholly unapologetic in what followed for a tongue lashing;

“Have /any/ idea vhut kind of jeopardy you’ve put zis team zhrough keepink zis from us?” His voice was a low hiss, pacing as he went, “Nein! Drei months pass und zis only comes to light when Schcout finds you passed out in za BLU base!”

Pyro said nothing. Medic continued, but his movements started becoming less erratic and his voice, softer.

“Ve are undza equipped und unprepared,” he paused to sighed and pinch the bridge of his nose, pushing his glasses up at an odd angle, “I vill schpare you za details for now, but vith everythink happening now as ist is, ve are lookink at a long sechs months ahead.”

Medic sighed once more, repositioned his glasses and looked back at Pyro. “You are relived from duty, Pyro, und for za zake of your health, I suggest zat za schuit will not be vorn in your quarters or much and vear else.”

Pyro looked particular downtrodden concerning the last part. Medic was having none of it.

“You should have thought about your precious identity before…/zis/,” he gestured to a belly hidden under thick layers of the suit, “Cross your legs, not your fingers, ze alvays say.”

Pyro shifted on the medical table awkwardly. Medic then resorted to some minor compromises.

“Fine, /fine/, if it makes both our lives easier, you may vear za schuit from your quarters to ze infirmary, as you vill be kommink down here often.” There was an uncertain silence then, Medic sighed again, and with a roll of his eyes, added, “Und I vill personally see to it your appearance und privacy are not compromised.”

Pyro looked pleased, if nodding vigorously though all that material could be interpreted as such. Medic then sent Pyro off, but not before scheduling another appointment in the near future, once he could find whatever archaic ultrasound machine he knew he had rotting in the backroom.

Alone now, Medic bemoaned his predicament, wondering why he ever took on this assignment. He needed a distraction, and Heavy was undoubtedly still bickering with the rest of the REDs, hopefully about the Respawn this time. He would need to join that discussion soon as well; the thought aggravated him as much as it did chill him. Even as a man of medicine, one who either dealt death or witnessed it in his /illustrious/ career, is own morality never seemed as possible as it did now. It was why everyone was so bent out of shape, they were scared, he included. It was getting worse, no one wanted to say it, but it was. Pretty soon, injuries would become more severe and frequent, the memory loss between Respawns stronger. He didn’t need to be as smart as he was to recognize a slippery slope when he saw one. He could only wonder if the BLUs were having the same problem.

The cloud of cigarette smoke that had accumulated in the Intelligence Room by the time Sniper got down there was large enough to warrant the need for fog lights. A smoker himself, though never this excessive, Sniper managed to navigate through the oppressively thick haze with only the odd cough. Spy was sitting on the floor, back against the far wall, working diligently at both having a staring with the red and blue briefcases stacked up on the desk in front of him and as a living chimney. Sniper treaded carefully, though. Getting a good look at Spy, he could see the foul look etched deeply in his face and now wondered if all that smoke was from the cigarettes or Spy’s temper fuming off of him. Most anyone would have turned tail and ran when Spy looked up with an expression that was about as happy to see you as a swarm of Africanized bees.

Sniper raised his hand casually and said, “Howzat?” before plopping down next to Spy, lighting a cigarette of his own.

Spy was familiar enough with the other man’s “bush talk” to know he was being asked how he was, thinking this redundant, he replied; “What are you doing ‘ere?”

Sniper took a slow drag and just got down to brass tacks, “Resa’ the team figured this would be easier as a two man job on the off chance suh’in did happen, so I volunteered myself.”

The former was true; the latter was an outright fabrication on Sniper’s part. After some deliberation amongst the team once they left the infirmary, it was decided that it would indeed be smarter to have two men on guard duty, just to be safe. Who’d be joining Spy, however, was decided by the ancient and fair art of drawing straws, and Sniper just drew up short. Spy didn’t argue this; he either didn’t have it in him or was too preoccupied being mad at something else. He couldn’t decide.

The pair sat in silence for a good while until;

“S’why Audrey Hepburn?”

Spy stopped mid-lighting a new one, staring at Sniper like the other had lobsters crawling out of his ears. “…Excusez-moi?”

Sniper was looking at the pack of matches he was fumbling with, lighting a new smoke of his own, when he replied;

“Earlier, down in the infirmary, you mentioned suh’in ‘bout not caring if it was ol’Audge under that mask.”

Spy’s eyes narrowed into sharp slits, though it went unnoticed. “If you are coming ‘ere with more silly suspicious, zen you can just f-”

Sniper cut him off, “’m not, mate. ‘Ell, I don’t think it’s you, myself, not now, anyway.”

The fabric of Spy’s balaclava, just above his eye, bent upwards as the eyebrow underneath it rose in suspicion. “Is zat so?”

Nodding as he finally had a successfully strike with his matches, Sniper lit up, took a drag and looked back at Spy.

“Had some time t’think about it, figured you f’all people wouldn’t,” he paused to take another drag, “I know you an’ that fruit loop were at odds and that you knowin’ an’not tellin’ us was a bunch a’waffle.”

Spy didn’t say thank you, he merely made a throaty noise and sharply nodded his head, letting the conversation return to silence. It remained that way until his mood improved after he burned through another pack. His last pack. Usually, this would be the time where the shakes and irritability would start kicking in. But no, sitting in not /completely/ terrible company, quite company anyway, Spy found himself capable of conversation at last.

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” He said, much to Sniper confusion. Spy, with a roll of his eyes, elaborated, “You asked me why ‘Epburn, zis is because /Breakfast at Tiffany’s/ is my favorite cinema, za name just…came to me.”

Sniper, eyes closed, thumb and forefinger on his chin, nodded sagely, almost like he agreed but didn’t want to say anything. The conversation went on from there; it was slow-paced with chunks of it going nowhere and drifting back into comfortable silence. They both had little in common and liked the quite moments best, but the exchange kept going, even when they thought the next pause would be the last. It all came to a head when, almost randomly, Sniper interjected one of the quieter periods with;

“Makes y’think, dunnit?”

“Mm?” Spy hummed, finding vowels difficult when a cigarette he now felt comfortable enough to bum off Sniper was hanging out of his mouth.

Sniper strummed his fingers on his knees, looking absentmindedly up at the ceiling fan, “All ‘is piss about Pyro not bein’a bloke, when it jus’ proves it.”

“Proves what?”

Sniper looked back at Spy, “’At we duh’know a damned thing about any of us.”
Spy leaned farther back against the wall, now looking at the ceiling; he smirked when he saw the many blackened holes that dotted its cheap white paint job from the shots he fired over the course of many briefings.

“Bezzer zat way,” he finally said.

Sniper laughed and handed Spy another cigarette, “Cheers t’that.”

The Scout at BLU base was having a very rough night. Failures were as common as victories, but that knowledge was ineffective as any means of comfort. In the seemingly endless space between a failure and the next mission, Scout always found himself in an anxious slump. He had to find ways to keep himself busy, his hands moving or fall victim to lethargic depression. Tonight’s means of distraction was rapid channel flipping. He was alone in the rec. room, leaving him free to fly back and forth through the all of six channels they got on their conservative, blocky little black and white Philips’ set.

It consumed Scout’s attention so immensely, that when he paused briefly at the Flintstones, he almost didn’t register the blue hand on his shoulder. Normally jumpy, he was so successfully distracted, that he only turned around slowly to see,

“Doc?”

The BLU Medic looked out of breathe and haggard, like he had run all the way here from the infirmary. “Schout…” he wheezed out, looming over the edge of the couch, clearly not here with good news, “Get ze others, vake zim up if ze are schlepping, ve have an emergency.”

It was then, using the light provided only by the dim glow of the television, that Scout noticed the dark stains splattered across the front of Medic’s lab coat.

----

I admit about half way through, the beta'ing stops. This is totally the product of my own impatience and not that of my infinitely patient beta, Plain.
>> No. 3578
Oh, I concur with the others, I am intrigued.
>> No. 3584
"Infinitely patient." Go on, tell me how awesome I am. :3c

Regardless, I love this and you know I love this. I hate that you ended it in a cliffhanger, however. Unrequited Spy/Audge will always be amazing to me.

Medic needs to slap more people. Just throwing that out there.
>> No. 3585
You tease.

This is probably the most promising girl Pyro fic I've come across, really, and I can't find much fault aside from some odd bits with the accents and a few word choices. I have so many questions and I eagerly anticipate the answers.
>> No. 3740
Goddamn me. I must have come off lazy, if not snobbish, for not replying to comments sooner. I probably should before I post the next update later tonight (cross my heart, hope to die I will).

>>3578

That's so good hear! Means I'm doing something right, thank you.

>>3585

I- I'm finding it difficult to articulate how happy I am hear that.

And yes, I have to agree with you that I do find myself stumbling with word choices (repeating phrases, run ons, etc.) As for the accents, I've always found it difficult to do it justice in writing. For example, I'm pretty sure I'm making Sniper sound too..."cockney." Idon'teven-
>> No. 3741
Okay, fuck me. I'm sage'ing this to point out I'm an idiot for forgetting the word "to" twice in that reply and quoting incorrectly.

First reply was to TenCentBastard and the second was to Cat Bountry. Sorry, my newfag is showing.
>> No. 3744
This is a good story; horrible cliffhanger at the end.

One of the better girl Pyro fics I've seen, mostly because you're not actually taking the gasmask off at this point.


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