This is my first time writing TF2 fics so feedback and critique would be very appreciated. If you guys like what I do, I'll post more.
Robots. Who would have thought? The Engineer lifted his goggles and rubbed his eyes, vision blurring from staring too long at blueprints and drafts. New enemies meant new upgrades, which meant more work on Engie’s part. Schematics and papers spilled across his worktables and crumpled rejects overflowed from the trash bin.
Perhaps it was lack of sleep that made it so hard to focus. Perhaps it was the fact their jobs were on the line. Maybe it was the threat of the family that had formed disappearing. Whatever the reason, Engie wasn’t getting any work done tonight. He organized his things, stacking papers and packing away tools. There was the possibility that they would have to leave Teufort, abandon the base in favor of defending better locations. Engie stowed away whatever wasn’t of immediate use in crates, in case it ever came down to that. Dusting off his hands, Engie turned around and nearly collided with Pyro.
“Sweet baby Christ, Pyro, don’t scare a man like that,” said Engie, shaking his head. A lesser man would have jumped, but he was used to spies sneaking up on him. Pyro merely tilted his head, blank circles staring back at him. Engie sighed and started for his room. With any luck, he’d finally get some shuteye.
A gloved hand stopped him, tugging on his sleeve. Engie looked over his shoulder to see Pyro holding a drawing scribbled in bright crayon. Taking the drawing, Engie cracked a smile.
“This another one of yours, Pyro?” Pyro nodded. “Well then, I’d say it’s good enough to go on the fridge, don’t you think?” Pyro hopped up and down, mumbling excitedly.
They walked up from Engie’s garage to the team’s living quarters. Hazy light filtered in through the windows, the sun barely beginning to peak over the horizon, and Engie wondered just how much sleep he was gonna get.
A single light dangled from the ceiling in the kitchen, occasionally flickering. It was a decent size room, but didn’t seem like it, the space mostly filled by mismatched chairs and the large table that somehow managed to seat all nine of them. The once gleaming fridge stood right beside it, its surface completely covered in memories. Well, almost completely. Engie grabbed a magnet and stuck the drawing to the front. Pyro made a noise that sounded like it could have been giggle. He kissed Engie by pressing the filter of his gasmask against the Texan’s cheek. Then he went off on his merry way, humming a vaguely menacing tune.
The Engineer chuckled, a little less weary than he was before, and gazed at the old fridge in front of him. It was a collage, a team effort; pieces contributed by everyone at some time or another and held up by the tacky plastic fruit magnets he had bought on a whim.
There were many photos of hijinks and achievements. A particular one caught his eye, taken on their first day at Coldfront. He and Sniper were on the train platform, shivering and huddled like penguins; bundled up in so many scarves and layers they looked like marshmallows. Heavy had taken that one, laughing afterwards and slapping them on the back good naturedly. Engie still blushed in embarrassment whenever someone brought it up, but it was rather funny in hindsight.
Another photo showed the water fight they held one very hot summer day. Scout, Soldier, and Pyro had conspired together, ambushing the rest of the team with water balloons, water guns, and hoses. The trio sprayed the team down then dashed off. It turned into a full blown battle, Engie modifying water guns while Sniper climbed up into high spots to chuck balloons down on everyone. Heavy and Medic paired up while Demo used his launcher to spit balloons at their heads. Spy was the last one to get sucked into the fun, holding out until the entire team ganged up on him, drenching him with water. The picture captured him mid-throw, arm cocked back, his suit soaked through and balaclava askew, ready to pelt Scout with a balloon. He had a genuine smile on his face that Engie mirrored as he thought back to that day.
Scattered across the fridge were medals and badges that Soldier awarded to each of them. The ‘badges’ were made from bottle caps, flattened tin cans, bits of scrap, and anything Soldier managed to get his hands on. He painted them in golds and silvers and attached bits of ribbon or felt to them. Achievements like “Most Reliable” and “Didn’t Blow Up Today” were written on each medal, along with “Not Useless” and “Crushed Enemy Team.” Soldier presented every single one with pride, congratulating his teammates on a job well done. Eventually the eye rolling and sarcastic comments from the team stopped, and the medals became accepted as a custom, whether or not anyone did anything to deserve it.
While there were many medals, there were plenty more drawings. A few were charcoal, but most were the same colorful crayon. Drawings filled with blue and pink bubbly shapes. Drawings swirling with reds and orange and blues. And others that sent shivers down the spine and were unsettling at best. Engie recognized pictures that he or other teammates had done at the insistence of the little pyromaniac; little self-portraits or doodles of themselves that Pyro added himself into.
The new addition was in the middle of everything. It ties it all together, thought Engie as he studied the piece. All the classes stood as one, facing off against a mass of robots. It was silly, really. Childish. And yet…
Engie looked around the room, staring at the place where they shared their meals and laughed and talked. The walls had scorch marks and holes messily patched, and the table had deep scratches from melee weapons. Tuna cans sat on the counter, food for the stray cats that wandered the base. Engie inhaled the familiar scent of cooking grease and ash that never seemed to fade. After fighting and living under one roof, he grew attached to this little team, and this was their home.
A quiet mew drew his attention, and he looked down to see a scruffy black and white kitten rubbing against his leg. The strays weren’t fixed, and sometimes the team would catch balls of fluff skittering about. Engie smiled and picked up the tiny creature. It purred as he gently stroked it. He set it in the pouch on his belt, patting its head.
Engie headed for the hallway then stopped. He turned back to the fridge, brow furrowed in thought. He pulled Pyro’s drawing off the fridge, looking at it for a moment before folding it up and sticking it in his pocket. He walked away and flicked off the light.
i like this. keep writing.
very cute! Is this before or after the robot invasion?
This is so sweet! I enjoyed reading it, keep it up!
Sniper was unbearably cold. It was only flurries coming down at Coldfront but the area was living up to its name. Even through all his layers, Sniper could feel the chill and the damp seeping into his skin from lying prone in the snow for so long. He took a quick look through his scope. The team had managed to push the BLU’s back and he could see Engie setting up on the middle point.
Sniper nodded to himself, set his rifle down for a moment and sat up. He took off his gloves and pulled down the mouth cover of his Anger hood, bleached white to blend with the snow. Breathing warm air onto his hands, he flexed and curled his fingers, cringing at the lack of feeling in the digits. He smacked his hands against his chest and thighs until he got some tingling, stabbing sensation back in them. Then he slid his gloves back on and pulled up his mouth cover and nestled down with his rifle once more. He lightly rubbed the trigger, making sure he could still feel it against his fingers. Sniper focused through his scope, taking slow, steady breaths.
It had taken him some time to learn how to keep himself from shivering too much and get clean shots. Heavy had given him plenty of advice on how to deal with such temperatures and Sniper took it all to heart. He had respect for any man that could destroy a gulag. He listened to Heavy to tell stories of the strange things that happen when it gets this cold, like how blood will freeze before it hits the ground. Man wasn’t meant to survive in such environments. Sniper took that as a challenge.
The BLU team was now retaliating, and the RED team had fallen back, leaving the middle point open. The twerp of a BLU Scout ran ahead of his team to take the point. Sniper smiled, lining up his shot. He always gave the jackrabbit a little extra lead to match his speed. Right as Sniper squeezed the trigger, the Scout jumped. Instead of a headshot, Sniper got a charged bodyshot straight to the kid’s chest. He grumbled, knocking back the bolt of his gun to reload and set up for another shot.
The damn Scout caught onto him, dancing off the point towards his team, shouting something Sniper couldn’t quite make out but he had a pretty good guess. Sniper followed his gaze until he caught sight of a fur lined cap. The BLU Sniper hadn’t noticed him yet, too intent on sniping the Heavy and Medic trying to capture the point.
“Bloody idiot never pays attention,” muttered Sniper. The enemy sniper looked up in time to see the little red dot trained of his face, and realized what it was just as Sniper’s bullet blew through his skull, sending a cloud of red mist out the back. Sniper chuckled and turned his attention back to the point. It was anyone’s game, the two teams struggling for the point, the colored icon above the spot switching from blue to red and back again. It was grand old clusterfuck and he found himself only picking off the slower mercenaries every now and again. He watched and waited for the BLU Sniper to pop his head up once more but the man had learned his lesson and was making himself scarce.
Sniper was so focused he almost didn’t notice the sound of decloaking. He didn’t notice muffled steps through the snow. But he heard the loud crunch of ice as his stalker stepped in a patch buried under layers of fluffy whiteness.
“Merde!” cursed BLU Spy. He tried to wiggle his foot free from the ice and snow. Sniper pulled himself up, limbs stiff and frozen, and drew his shiv. The two predators stared each other down, Sniper with his shiv and Spy with his knife.
Sniper struck first, rushing forward and swinging his shiv wide, catching only the fabric and fluff of Spy’s thick coat as he dove to the side. Spy moved around him, trying to catch Sniper in the back. He went in for the stab, getting the marksman in the side. Sniper growled, brandishing his weapon.
“You call that a knife?” he taunted. Spy glared. He swung again, this time getting the spook across the chest. Blood trickled down his front, staining his suit. Spy winced, pressing a hand on his bleeding wound and wincing through the pain. Even if he cloaked and ran now, Sniper would easily catch him. Gritting his teeth, Spy charged, dodging the aussie’s haphazard swings. He was faster, warmer. He hadn’t been lying still in the snow and that gave him the advantage. He caught Sniper in the side again, moving around him towards the back. He had his knife poised for Sniper’s neck, and Sniper turned, ready to catch Spy in the throat.
Over the loudspeakers, the gravelly voice of the Administrator shouted for all to hear, “Stalemate!”
The two of them looked at each other, chests heaving from exertion. Spy slowly lowered his knife and Sniper followed suit. He was pale from the blood loss but Spy had stopped bleeding. So he checked his watch and gave a slight nod towards his opponent.
“Until next time, Bushman.” Spy walked off towards his base, cloaking and leaving Sniper alone once more. Sniper put away his shiv and packed up his gun, shuffling through the snow back to his own base. A dispenser was already set up in the doorway, Engie tinkering away at it. Engie waved to him and he waved back.
“Hey there, Slim,” greeted Engie. His cheeks and nose were pink from the cold.
“Hey, Truckie.” Sniper leaned against the dispenser, allowing the red healing waves to wrap around him. It was warm and soothing, sealing up his wounds and melting away the chill in his bones. He gave Engie a thumbs up and headed inside.
Pyro was getting a fire going while everyone was shedding their layers. Sniper took off his hood, vest, and sweater, hanging them to dry. He pulled off his gloves and tugged at his boot laces. They were caked with ice that he chipped away at with his fingers. He got those off too and lined them against the wall with everyone else’s snow boots. There was now a roaring fire, and Sniper pulled up a chair beside it, removing his socks and laying them out to dry and warm up. He put his feet out, wiggling his toes and sighing in relief. Another chair scooted up beside him and Heavy sat down.
“You did well today, Sniper,” said Heavy with a warm smile. He had two mugs of coffee and handed one to his companion.
“If you can call a stalemate doing well,” said Sniper, sipping the hot drink. Heavy shrugged.
“We will win next time. But you were good, I saw you save Doktor and I from the other sniper.”
Sniper chuckled. “Yeah, well he makes it easy. Besides, it’s my job to keep him off you.”
“Still, is helpful. I could not do what you do, much better at charging in and crushing other side.” Sniper hummed and nodded absently. “You remind me of someone.”
That got Sniper’s attention. He looked at his teammate with curiosity. “Who might that be, mate?”
Heavy grinned. “Famous man. He was a good sniper like you, so good Russian army couldn’t beat him. He killed many, many of us.” He leaned forward. “Have you heard the tale of Simo Häyhä?”
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New content? In my TF2chan? It's more likely than you think.
Needle Pt. 1
Sniper waved to Scout as he raced inside with the intelligence on his back. As soon as Scout got to the intelligence room the match would be over for the day, so Sniper began packing his things and climbing down from his perch. It was a hot day and he sighed in relief as he got to the air-conditioned resupply room. The rest of the team filtered in as well, shucking off their gear and setting it in their cubbies.
Scout walked in and was greeted with quiet cheers and slaps on the back. “Good job, mate,” said Sniper as the speedster hung up his headset. Scout shrugged.
“Slow as fuck today. They weren’t even trying to give us a hard time.” He made a face, brushing the dust from his clothes.
“Life isn’t a race, and the moment you figure that out you’ll be better off.” Sniper took off his boots, grimacing at the blisters and sores on his feet. He pulled a small crate from his cubby. It was full of glass jars with crushed plant matter, various salves and poultices he’d made.
Scout gagged. “Yeah, right. Have fun with that, roo-fucker.” Sniper glared at him until he slunk away. He shook his head and lit a cigarette. The boy would learn eventually.
Now he was the only merc left in the room, and it was quiet and still. He focused on the task at hand, plucking a sewing needle from his vest pocket, stabbing one of the sores on his feet to drain it. His mum would have his ass for picking at wounds like a mangy cat, but she herself had taught him how to clean it and bandage it. She was the one who showed him what plants were good for mixing into a paste. Medic couldn’t be bothered to handle every minor injury, so the knowledge came in handy even here. The medicine didn’t smell the greatest, but he could feel the pain lessen as he smeared a poultice on his blisters. He wrapped his feet in gauze, wiggling and flexing his awkward toes.
He was always gangly and weirdly proportioned, his shoes never fit quite right and most of his clothes had to be taken in to accommodate his lean frame. He glanced at the calendar. It was a Friday, which would give him time to heal. Friday also meant mail day. Sniper glanced at his watch. The truck would be coming in soon. He slid on a pair of soft socks and his boots, and cut his way through the base. A mouse darted across his way, quickly followed by a barn cat that paused to stare at him for a moment before chasing its prey.
The scent of grease and meat drifted through the kitchen and out into the hall. Sniper stopped in the entryway, inhaling the smell. Engie had a large stewpot on the stove and was whistling as he chopped beef and potatoes to go in. Demo and Pyro were lounging on the couch in the attached rec room, gazing mindlessly at the television while Heavy and Medic were huddled in the corner over a game of chess.
“Move it, Private!” said Soldier, pushing through with a crate stuffed with veg. He set it down with a heavy thud on the kitchen table.
“Thank you, Solly,” said Engie, riffling through the box and examining the produce. Soldier saluted him and started washing and peeling what was left of the potatoes. Sniper watched with mild interest. Soldier couldn’t cook worth a damn but he made an effort to be involved in providing for the team. There was a victory garden by the barn that he tended to, though it was Sniper and Engie keeping it alive. He didn’t know the first thing about fertilizing and watering schedules, but he went out with his shovel and Pyro’s rake, beaming with confidence as he moved the soil, weeding and checking for varmints. Looking at the crate, he’d managed a decent harvest.
Sniper stubbed out his smoke on an ash tray and nodded to his teammates as he headed out the back door. The sun was still pretty high in the sky so Sniper pulled up one of the fold-out chairs the team left scattered about and reclined, taking off his vest and unbuttoning his shirt. He dozed off, hat over his eyes until he heard the rev of an engine in the distance. A cloud of dust followed the mail truck, and he imagined the girl behind the wheel coughing and grumbling. She blared the horn, announcing her arrival. The rest of the team filed out, waiting patiently as the truck pulled in.
The steel door in the back rolled up and the delivery girl stood with her clipboard and the mail pile behind her. She was about Pauling’s age and wore a dark purple uniform and hat with the TF Industries logo. “Alrighty,” she said, “Texas, you’re up first.”
Engie stepped up and she handed him the clipboard. “Sign here, please.” He scrawled his name and handed it back. She lifted a large Mann Co box and carried it to the door, barely breaking a sweat. Engie shifted uncomfortably, resisting the urge to offer his help like the gentleman he was. She kept a loaded Winchester rifle in the truck and had pointed it at him once before for “questioning her ability to do her job,” even if he was trying to be polite. She waved the next mercenary forward, going down her list. Heavy got letters from his family. Demo got booze from home and a Mann Co box. Scout got a stack of nudie mags he didn’t even try to hide. Medic got vials of questionable liquid, and Spy got a set of papers in black manila envelopes. Soldier and Pyro waited in front of Sniper and the delivery girl tossed them their packages—a bundle of seed packets for Soldier and crayons for Pyro.
Sniper shuffled up and the girl sighed, sitting at the edge of her truck. “Hey there, Oz.”
“Hey, Jody,” he replied. She handed him the clipboard and once he was done she gave him a cardboard box wrapped in brown paper and twine. He sat beside her and she pulled over a cooler of orange Nehi . He undid the wrappings. A slip of paper was at the top.
I died it myself. Your dad doesn’t believe me anymore when I say you’re a doctor. He may never come around but he loves you, we both do. He picked out the last two patterns for you.
“The colors are lovely,” said Jody, peering at the contents. Sniper nodded. She offered him a bottle of Nehi and he paused before he took it with muttered thanks. It wasn’t coffee but it was more refreshing in this weather. She got a Sandvich from the cooler and munched away. The pair sat in silence, watching the landscape. After a while Sniper checked his watch.
“Don’t you have somewhere to be?” Pauling carried on about her schedule and lack of time, but Jody was content to mill around after her deliveries were complete.
“Are you kidding? You freaks are the most exciting part of my week,” she said in that blasé tone of hers. “When I’m done it’s back to filing and writing reports.” He couldn’t really argue with that, not that he wanted to. She didn’t talk much, only asking the occasional off-hand question. When she finished her Sandvich she wiped off the crumbs and nudged him from the truck. She gave him a mock salute and took her place behind the wheel. The truck kicked up dirt as it drove away. He watched until it was a speck on the horizon.
Sniper’s camper was parked behind the base. He had time until dinner, so he took his package and climbed in. He made use of what little space he had, shoving everything into cupboards or beneath the pullout bed. Photos were taped to the wall and dried plants hung from a line strung across the ceiling. He stretched in bed, setting the box in his lap. There were several skeins of yarn died red, mustard, and white. It was wool this time, good for the cooler bases and seasons coming up. At the bottom was a smaller skein, gradient cashmere. He frowned. He’d have to talk with mum about that again. She never saved the nice, expensive kind for herself. The magazines and patterns she sent were fancier than he liked but he smiled at the notes she left and the ones she circled. The two his dad had picked were simple enough, a sweater vest and a striped muffler.
Sniper retrieved a basket from beneath his bed, taking up his knitting needles and the yarn. He looked over the pattern and started, counting his stiches with an intense focus he reserved for scoping shots. His skilled hands worked the yarn with finesse. He lost track of time and almost didn’t notice Engie calling the team to dinner.