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Every repost is a repost repost. By Poppyscout.

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Hi... newbie lurker here that has been hooked on TF2 fan fiction and I got the inspiration to make my own. Please concrit as much as you can, I got tired towards the end, but enjoy :)





Spy was awake

Someone was trying to sneak out of the base. They were apparently trying to imitate his silent movements, Spy thought with a pulse of smugness, but failing miserably. As he lay awake, listening to the careful but determined shuffling, curiosity got the better of him. Silently twisting out of the bed sheets in one fluid movement, he slipped into his clothes in a few moments before tiptoeing to the door of his room.

Listening intently, Spy quietly opened his door out to the hallway, thanking the fact that it had decided not to squeak this time. Slipping down the corridor, he peeked around the corner to see who it was that was leaving and stopped.

It was Engineer. He was dressed in his familiar red button down shirt, distinct yellow hard hat and knee pads, and the dungarees that hid seventeen different kinds of fascinating to Spy. But something was missing.

It was like one of those stupid kid puzzles, where you had two pictures and you had to circle the things that were different. Or alternatively, the naughty adult version, in which it was always the hair… Spy broke off that thought as he tried to concentrate on what was missing from Engie’s usual ensemble. Goggles, check... Gloves which covered those deft but powerful hands. Boots were the same. His tool belt swung slightly around his muscular torso, from which he would always grab his trusty…

His wrench was missing. It wasn’t in its usual place hanging by his side. Spy was still puzzled. What was he doing up so early in the morning without his wrench? Spy knew that Engineer was in general an early riser, but never this early, and certainly not without the intent to tinker with a sentry, or sketch blueprints for his next and latest model.

Engineer had now exited the bunker and was headed off to the right. Spy watched curiously from the edge of the doorframe as Engineer moved towards the corner of the building. Shivering a bit from the morning chill, Spy moved over the sand to behind a boulder to watch.

Engineer took a glance around the expanse of sand, looking for anyone that might dare observe his strange morning excursion. He needn’t have bothered looking for Spy though, since if there was one thing in life Spy was good at, it was remaining unseen. Spy’s curiosity was practically bloody and foaming at the bit. What was Engineer doing that he so obviously wanted to keep secret?

Engineer started pawing at the sand near the base of the building. He kept going, his large hands pushing the white sand away. He at last uncovered something, and grasped it firmly, pulling upwards with a grunt as it came out of the sand.

It was a shovel. Soldier’s shovel to be exact. So that’s where it had gone, thought Spy. Soldier had been threatening to “Make maggot fricassee” for days after it had gone missing. He had been prevented from acting on his promise only by Medic and Heavy’s combined physical and psychological efforts. Spy had suspected Sniper of trying to get a few laughs out of the situation, but it had never turned up.

But why a shovel?

Engineer had finished smoothing over the sand, and now stood up, shovel over his shoulder. He then marched straight towards the fence, and slipped out into the desert.

Spy knew that it would be a while before the others were up, and even longer before anyone would think about disturbing him or Engineer. He couldn’t stop now, not after the covert mission of retrieving the shovel, not when there was more to this mysterious behavior.

Spy was nosy, and it was good for his profession. To be a professional spy means knowing at any moment the type of underwear your team was wearing, the dinner menu at BLU that night, and why exactly Pyro didn’t ever take his mask off. Well, almost never took his mask off.

In this case, his nosiness might be getting the best of him. He knew that to be polite, he should probably leave Engineer to do whatever he was going to do with the shovel alone. It was none of his business, especially since Spy had deduced it had nothing to do with the war, BLU or RED, or even his precious sentries. But he also knew that this kind of big juicy secretive behavior was the kind that he loved to observe and cherish at the end of the day, getting off on knowing the unknown.

Engineer was now a good distance away from the base, and Spy was following a good distance behind to avoid being seen. The stars were still shining, their usual faint spots of white in the sky becoming blazing points of brightness in the open night air of the desert. Luckily there were enough agave plants and rock formations for Spy to hide behind, but Engineer just kept effing walking.

You had to admire the task-oriented mind of the Engineer. Even under gunfire and screams of battle, Spy had seen Engineer calmly hook up and screw in the last few bits of his sentries even as the BLU sniper missed his head by inches. Everything in his life was logical, orderly, and he didn’t stop until the task was done. Despite some people giving credit to Soldier for his attention to timeliness and prioritizing, Engineer really was the perfectionist, with everything running according to clockwork.

The only time that Spy had ever seen Engineer step out of this had been with Scout. Spy had seen the two together, and despite his guarded affection for the Engineer and secret jealousy of Scout, had not done anything to sabotage the relationship, preferring instead to indulge in his fantasies. In reality, he and Engineer never would have worked – Engie needing a base while Spy loved the adventure of wandering, Engineer being the furthest thing from a romantic while Spy needed roses and champagne. And those bloody machines…

The two had worked very well, with Engineer seeming to put a bit of logical sense in Scout’s head, and Scout being able to bring Engineer out of his shell, exposing the more playful, loving side of him.

Spy had been jealous of that Scout’s ability to do that – he had many a time tried to provoke, seduce, and cajole that same open response from Engineer, but he had been simply been ignored or rebuffed too many times to count They had fallen into a pattern – Spy trying to aggravate Engineer, instead getting a cool and collected response from the man, leaving Spy to think up yet another way to annoy the Engineer. It no longer was to gain approval or to even flirt. Really, it was Spy’s way of holding Engineer’s undivided attention for a short moment. It was a small, yet very distinct victory for Spy.

They were now entering the floor of a narrow canyon, the floor littered with scrub brush and fallen boulders. Spy recognized it now as the place where he had once spied Scout and Engineer. Spy had been spying on them both for some time now, but this was the first time they had ventured outside the base. Scout had led Engineer to the entrance of the canyon, and told him to wait. The boy had raced away into the dunes at breakneck speed and returned just as quickly, hiding something behind his back. Grinning like a little child who has a big big secret that they can’t wait to tell the world, Scout presented his object to the Engineer.
It was a weed. No, Spy corrected himself, it was a plant. Some kind of flowering plant. How childish, to be picking flowers for a grown man. Engineer seemed to be less than pleased, and although Spy’s distance kept him from hearing the distinct words, his tone and hand movements seemed to suggest that the mechanic did not understand the boy’s gesture. Scout’s voice was agitated now, as the two of them raised their voices at each other, their shouts bouncing off the canyon walls. Finally, Scout took off in a pink blur back off to base, leaving the Engineer and the weed behind. Scout hadn’t talked to Engineer for the remainder of the day despite the older man’s pleading and apologies. I had selfishly wondered if this was to be the end of their relationship.


Engineer had finally stopped at the end of the canyon floor, resting the shovel against the canyon wall. The sky was brightening, the whole desert seemingly welcoming the coming sun. Engineer was fumbling with something in his belt. Spy peeked from between two jutting boulders as the man pulled something white out of the small black pouch over his right hip. Engineer picked up his shovel again and exited out of the canyon, sliding out of Spy’s view.

Spy moved forward silently as a cool breeze spun into the canyon floor, caressing the small areas of exposed skin on Spy’s face, bringing with it the smell of rock, wet sand, and something Spy had not smelled in a long, long time. It was a delicate smell, sweet and perfume-like, the scent bringing memories of summers spent in Provence, France of violet fields carpeted with the flower..

Lavender.

Spy rushed to the end of the canyon, abandoning all stealth and caution and stopped, his breath stuck in his chest as he dared to breathe.

The sun was barely rising over the valley the canyon opened up into, and its gleaming rays leaked upon the hills that sloped downward like a massive amphitheater.
Flowers of every color and texture covered the valley in an explosive cacophony of blues, whites, oranges and yellows. And the scent! It was like a thousand beautiful maidens drenched in the most expensive French perfumes dancing around him as he breathed in the heady rich aroma of the flower blossoms.
His grandmother had been the one that had lived in Provence, and had a lush garden that she carefully tended to. He recognized some that she had taught to him. There were lavender plants of course, as well as poppies, wild roses, larkspur, and some flowering cacti he had noticed on base. There were many other species that he did not recognize, but they were all beautiful.

He noticed now that an intricate irrigation system had been set up – a series of pipes and tubing that weaved in and out of the delicate plantings. It was a miracle, an oasis here in the hot desert, that these beautiful wildflowers were able to bloom and grow in this living masterpiece. This irrigation system was definitely the work of Engineer – no one else would think to create this in the first place, much less be able to pull it off.

Spy suddenly realized that he was out in the open and shrank behind an especially large rose bush, searching frantically for Engineer. He finally spied him in the middle of the valley, amid a bare patch of ground with the white object in his hand, which was some piece of paper. The Engineer delicately opened up the paper and tapped something into his calloused hand, then gently tossed it at the sandy soil.

Seeds, Spy thought with sudden realization. Engie had been coming here, planting and tending this anomaly of a garden every single day, taking care of these flowers – quite uncharacteristic of what Spy had thought he had known of this man.

And then Spy suddenly understood. This was for him. While Demo had tried to kill himself drinking, Sniper had become even more isolated than Spy had thought possible, Medic had given extra fuss over Heavy, and Pyro talked even less than he usually did, Spy had thought it odd that Engineer had not showed any mourning aside from receiving the initial news about Scout. But Engineer apparently mourned in a way that was far different from any of them.

“Ah know you’re there, Spy”

Spy froze behind the rose bush, looking at Engineer. The man hadn’t turned his back from where he was watering the newly planted seeds with a rusty watering can. Spy slowly stood up and dusted the sand off his trousers.

“I was just following you to make sure you weren’t betraying our secrets to the BLU team.”

Engineer chuckled

“Ah always knew you were there Spy. You mah not have realized it, but you always sah real wistful like when you think ah can’t hear you.”

Spy wondered if he was as red as the flowers behind him, and perhaps he could disappear by blending his blushing cheeks with their crimson petals.

“Aw, its okay, I’d been meaning to show you this, seein’ as how you understand me better than most.”

Engineer turned to face Spy, the packet of seeds now empty.

“Eschscholzia californica, the California poppy. That was the flower Scoot gave to me. Ah didn’t know what to do at first… never had nobody give me flowers before. He got offended and took off before ah really got a chance to thank him.”

Engineer neatly folded the envelope and placed it back into his belt pocket.

“Ah built the irrigation system initially to grow the team some grub. Maybe some corn or tomatuhs, or one of them peach trees I loved at my aunt’s home in Georgia.”

He shook his head

“I set it up about the time when he… y’know… and the damned poppies started growing.” He waved his hand at the golden waves of blossoms waving gently in the breeze. “They must have been jes lying here for years, waitin’ for a burst of rain to give ‘em a chance to grow.”

Spy could see the other man struggling internally, and spoke carefully “They are beautiful. Magnifique.”

“Ah found those cacti out in the desert, along with them roses. Then ah started to collect more of ‘em, trekkin all over the desert to find them all. Texas bluebonnet, cornflowers, lupine, owl’s clover, goldfield…” Engineer was rambling now, but Spy let him talk.

“Ah know the rest of the team’d be mad at me diverting water here and smuggling in seeds from the delivery guy. It’s jes… when I come here, I jes can remember him. He was so young, such a gawdang idiot…”
Spy could see now tears making their way up to those eyes, as the Engineer’s shoulders started to heave. Engie pulled off his hat and the goggles as the tears started rolling down his cheeks. He sobbed deep and heavy, his body wracked with his crying.

Spy covered the short distance between them, enclosing the larger man in his embrace, crouching in a patch of wildflowers as the Engineer cried into his chest. He felt a stabbing pang of jealousy as he wondered if the engineer would have cried over his death, and if he would have built a bloody garden in his memory, but he let the thought go as he focused on Engie’s pain.

Spy smiled ever so slightly as he patted Engineer’s broad back. “He would have liked it very much.”

Engineer pulled back, wiping his nose. “You think?”

Spy nodded succinctly, knowing well that the young Scout would have loved the valley of flowers, and would have teased Engineer relentlessly after finding out.

And then, suddenly, Spy came up with an idea. An idea so crazy that he thought he might be hanging out with Soldier and Demo too much. It was so twisted, but so brilliant and…. it might ease Engie’s pain.

Spy pulled Engineer back so that he was staring into those soft, intelligent brown eyes and said “I have a gift for you. You have to trust me though.”

Engineer stared back, confusion for once filling his face. “What in tarnation do you mean Spy? What kinda gift?”

Spy smiled slightly and said “This.”

Red smoke shimmered around Spy as he felt his form change. His jaw slimmed and smoothed, the five o’clock shadow disappearing. He felt his skin, the crow’s feet and wear lines just beginning to show, tighten and smooth over. His body stretched and pulled until he had the sleek feeling of a cheetah, slim and deft and oh so ready to just run!

He hadn’t remembered the bat materializing or the bandages around his hands or the baseball cap appearing. He shrugged and spoke in a voice not his own, a twangy Boston youthful accent that rang with tones of youthful arrogance
“In the flesh!”

Engineer was staring at what Spy-now-Scout with what the latter hoped was awe. No, it was horror. Disbelief. Crap, this had been a bad idea.

Blinding pain exploded across his zygoma as the flowers whirled in a swirl of spilled paint colors around him. He landed face first in a lavender plant, its sweet smell quite forgotten in the context of current events.

Engineer was on top of him, dragging him to his feet. His usual placid face was twisted with anger as he punched with all his might at Spy, sending him staggering backwards. “YOU BASTARD!”

Spy was trying desperately to shed the disguise, keep his balance, get out of Engineer’s swing range, and failing miserably at all three. Why could he not remember how to work this damned disguise gadget? Spy gave up on trying remembering the instructions, and concentrated on stepping backwards from the raging Engineer.

Engineer lunged forward, bodily grabbing Spy by the shoulders and throwing him back first into a patch of (thank god they weren’t cacti) agave plants. Spy winced – Scout’s thin frame wasn’t handling this pummeling very well, although he doubted his regular form would be handling this much better.

“You…. Left me!”
Spy had a moment of glorious realization that this wasn’t about him: it was about Scout.

Engineer ripped aside an acacia tree branch, eyes burning as he stormed towards the fumbling Spy trying to gingerly but quickly extricate himself from the agave plants. Just as Spy returned himself to an upright standing position, the engineer slammed his fist into Spy’s stomach, causing the other to double over in pain as all the air in his lungs decided to suddenly leave. Engineer slammed Spy up against the rocky wall of the valley and proceeded to beat the crap out of him.

“Haw dare could you leave me here, awl alone!”
Spy was pretty sure one of his premolars was broken.

Spy had never actually heard what had happened, but he had been one of the first to encounter a weeping Engineer carrying the poor broken form of Scout back to base. Medic took a full hour trying to relieve Engineer of Scout’s body with no success. Finally Medic was able to pull poor Scout out of Engie’s arms and heavily drugged the older man to give him a brief respite from the current situation.

Spy had looked at Scout’s lifeless form on the table. His hands were still covered with the white tape, and his hat was still perched on his head. Were it not for the blood that stained that small circle of fabric above his heart, Spy thought that the boy would have been up and running in no time.

Spy heard later from Medic that Scout had been shot by the BLU sniper straight through the heart, but it wasn’t until he had snooped through Scout’s file later that he understood that Scout had thrown himself in the path of a bullet meant for Engineer. Engineer had blamed himself, Spy knew that much. But he hadn’t realized just how heavily it had weighed on the engineer until now.


The punches had stopped, as far as Spy could tell from squeezing his eyelids shut
“Ah… ah need you.”

Spy opened an eye as Engineer took a step backwards, then slumped against the valley wall, sobbing.

Spy stood still for a moment, watching as Engineer wept openly, his breathing coming in ragged gasps punctuated by hiccups as he cried. Spy knew what he had to do.

Scout knelt down carefully alongside the bawling Engineer, and gently put a slim fingered, bandaged hand on the Engineer’s face.
“Engie?”

Engineer turned his tear-streaked face towards him, his eyes searching for hope, comfort, an explanation, something. He said softly “Scoot?”

Scout smiled back at him with those brilliantly white incisors “It’s me ya big nerd.”

Engineer wiped his tears with the back of his arm and smiled. He picked off a poppy, delicately perched atop its slender stem “Ah brought you your weed back.”

Scout laughed and helped Engineer stand up. Engineer frowned, brushing flower petals off his clothing and said “Scout, there are some things I’ve been meaning tell you…”

Scout paused for a rare moment and listened to Engineer.

“Ah missed hanging out with you Scoot. Your obsession with baseball…that time you pantsed Heavy, how you used to eat twice your fill at dinner, and your stupid, lame jokes.”

Scout yelled “Oi! I’ll show you lame!” and brandished his bat before Engineer put a finger to Scout’s lips.

“Ah… Ah wanted to say that you shouldn’t have taken that bullet. You’re just a kid… y’all should be going to college, playing some ball, doing other stupid meaningless crap – not fighting in this war. It shoulda been me – ah was too busy worrying about getting that sentry up another level…”

The tears started to well up again in Engineer’s eyes, and Scout shushed him gently
”You can’t blame yourself for that. You din’t do anything! It was that Sniper that shot me, not you.”

Scout embraced the Engineer “You was always good to me – ya took care of me, like no one else has. Always gentle, real nice to me…”

Engineer looked down again into those brilliant blue eyes, that beautiful smirk. He moved closer, recalling the sweaty, masculine scent of Scout after he had been running. Engineer smoothed the fabric on the back of Scout’s shirt, then leaned in and kissed him.

Engineer had forgotten how soft and smooth Scout’s lips were. For a flicker of a moment, he realized that this wasn’t how Scout kissed, realized that this wasn’t Scout, that this wasn’t really real.. But then those thoughts were gone, shoved mentally into the back of the closet. Right now this was real, this was Scout, and they were kissing here among the flowers.

How long they stayed there, neither Scout nor Engineer knew. It was still morning as Engineer came back down to earth, lying with Scout among the flowers, staring up into the sky. He was so happy.

But he realized that it had to end. This was not logical, not feasible – this wasn’t reality. It sure felt like it, but it was no more than a dream at best.

He wasn’t ready, but it was time to let go. He had to let go – it was Scout’s time.

Scout knew what Engineer was thinking. He rolled over and tickling his nose in Engineer’s belly button, wiggling it until the man was chuckling with laughter.

Engineer watched as Scout picked up his baseball bat and tucked the flower behind his ear.

Scout smiled and said “It’s time for me to go Engie.”

Engineer nodded, despite the tightness he felt in his stomach.
“Where are you going to go Scoot?”

Scout swung his bat experimentally, stretching his muscles
“I’m gonna run out until I get out of this desert. I’m goin to see myself a real baseball game, and get an ice cream sundae with them jimmies on top!”
He laughed and said “And don’t try to follow, because you’ll never be able to keep up!”
To illustrate his point, he zipped in a circle around Engineer, tapping him lightly back of the head with his bat “Boink!”

Engineer laughed, the tears finally dry. He said “Will I ever see you again Scoot?”

Scout grinned and said “Not soon if you’re lucky. But someday…” Scout stepped forward and kissed Engineer one final time. Engie squeezed Scoot’s slim form in his arms, savoring one last time his feel, his smell…

Then he let go.

Scout grinned and shot up the valley wall, leaving behind a cloud of dust and fluttering petals in his wake

“Wooohoooo!”

He paused to wave at the top of the valley wall in the morning sun, before zooming off into the horizon.


*************************

Nobody questioned where Engineer had been when he arrived well after breakfast was over. Despite Medic raising a brow at Engineer’s whistling as he happily clanked on his sentries, nobody asked any questions of him despite the fact that he was missing his goggles.

Spy was smoking his fifteenth cigarette of the day, when he was interrupted

“Hey.”

Spy saw that Engineer had come to find him in his usual smoking spot.

“What do you want, Misseur Clanky-Clanky?”

Engineer’s face was now again unreadable underneath a pair of new goggles. “Ah just wanted to thank you for what you did… out there. For me an all…”

Spy sniffed “I do not know what you are talking about. You have obviously been spending too much time sniffing ze glue fumez.”

Engineer chuckled “Ah don’t use glue Spy, only screws and bolts”

Spy waved his hand “Whateveur, whateveur, I don’t know what you talking about. Leave me alone to smoke in peace.”

Engineer said “Well, ah brought you some breakfast. Managed to pry it away from Heavy when he wuzn’t lookin.” He set the plate on a crate near Spy. He said “If you wanted to hang out later…”

Spy had still not looked at Engineer “Iz it because you want me to put on my mask, yes? Become your leetle Scout again?”

Engineer shook his head. “It gets too lonely fer one person out here, Spy. Everyone needs someone to talk to. Even you.”

He left after that, humming contentedly to himself

Spy finished his cigarette, tossing it out onto the desert sand. He didn’t have time for breakfast; he had far too much to do. Like look through the seed catalog he had stolen from Engineer’s room. He had seen a brand new strain of California poppy, ‘Mission Bells’, that supposedly came in orange, yellow, white, red, AND pink. And there was that purple coneflower that he thought would look stunning next to the evening primroses…

END
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