After some to and fro I decided to upload my fanfiction here - it's my first ff since 9 years! Also, this story is a slow-build, so don’t expect to have the main action right away!
Pairing? Yes! PWP ? Absolutely not!
This story will focus on psychology and mystery, maybe count it as a psychodrama as well.
"The things that go through your mind as sanity tries to leave it. None of the mercenaries had ever guessed that a sudden death could change their life so much. What goes through your mind, when life can't be taken for granted anymore?"
"Battle begins in 10 minutes!"
There it was. The Announcer's voice made everyone prick up their ears, Soldier already getting up, fury in his face.
"Let's go, maggots! And don't you dare to be late again, Private Scout!" he yelled, filling the room with his fiery voice.
Scout glared at him with his mouth still full with his breakfast, rolled his eyes and just nodded to calm him down. The others also left the table; it could be cleaned later.
Medic retreated to the infirmary, returning shortly after already dressed in his coat and medical equipment. Demoman, Soldier, Scout and Heavy quickly loaded and checked their weapons at the ammunition board as Pyro desperately tried to get through them and to their own locker.
Spy brought his plate to the sink, checked his tie, and then looked over at the rest of the team. Of course he was already prepared for the fight. He always was.
"Well, see ya on the field, Spook." Sniper grabbed his hat and moved to the lockers. His gun was ready as well, and he always had his Kukri at his belt.
Down on the field, they lined up at the final gate with Scout and Pyro at the front and Soldier and Demoman to their back as always. Medic and Heavy stood next to each other, the doctor already preparing an Ubercharge, with Engineer next to them, holding his materials ready. Finally, there were Sniper and Spy at the far back, watching their teammates, as always.
Then the Announcers call arrived and the gates opened. As always.
"Bloody Hell." Cursing didn't help, but it sure was somewhat relieving. A missed shot, even though the target was the BLU Scout, Sniper always felt a bit shame when he missed a shot. Now the runner was through and around the corner, out of sight, on his way to their intel. Sniper pressed a button on a small device on his belt, a little gadget that Engineer had given him.
As a sniper you oversee most of the battlefield and thus, had most of the information of what's going on. And right now, the BLU Scout was going, or rather running, towards their intel room. That little button sent a signal to all of his teammates, alerting them that their secured information was in danger and that was enough to get them to deal with the situation.
As useful as it was, Sniper did not always use it, as it was it could easily become a distraction. But still he was sure that he pressed the "Spy near intel" button more than he probably should. Once he had mistaken their retreating Medic as the enemy and called him out, getting him shot by his own team. The doctor had no hard feelings, but a mistake was a mistake, and Sniper didn't want it to happen again.
But this time, he was sure. He had seen their Demoman a few minutes ago, with his fresh stock of grenades running through the entrance of the BLU main base, and so that RED Demoman 'retreating' through the water seemed out of place.
Sniper zoomed in his scope, aimed, and slowly breathed out. And the BLU Spy fell along with his shot.
"Not this time, wanker." He muttered, watching the corpse float for a moment.
Screams echoed across the field and a voice came from the device on his belt.
It seemed that his Engineer had just killed the BLU Scout. But Sniper was corrected a moment later when he saw his own team's Scout running from the base with a bloodstained shirt and a grin across his face. From his nest, Sniper could almost hear Scout's snarky insults as he watched his teammate through his scope.
Obviously, Scout took pleasure in dominating his counterpart.
Some of Sniper's teammates were like this, always having to be better and stronger than their enemies. Of course you had to be skilled to kill them, but it was possible to take it to the extreme and take too much pride in every kill and every death.
But Sniper carried no grudges, not even toward his enemies. Some of the RED team would rage and be more reckless just to get back at the BLU who just killed them. Or worse, humiliated them. Some had their arch-enemies, which, as the Sniper thought, was very unhealthy in this neverending 'war'. He and the BLU Spy should probably fall in this category, being one of the main targets for the invisible man, but it actually wasn't that way. He respected the BLU.
Sweatdrops started to tickle his neck, and he needed to squint his eyes for a moment to refocus, suddenly dizzy. It was the middle of August, and the air still insanely hot and thick. He was used to heat from growing up back in the Australian Outback, but staying in the slowly warming cabin was starting to become uncomfortable to say the least. Taking off his hat, he waved some air across his face as he browsed the area for any hint of BLUs. That helped for a moment.
This day was passing far too slowly.
A knock on the wooden entrance jolted him for a moment, but an enemy wouldn't announce himself, of course.
"Hey, Doc." He waved his teammate over when he recognized his visitor. "Something up?"
"Just looking in to see how you are keeping up in this heat. Heavy has breathing problems and Scout forgot to drink again. Dieser Bengel."
From the doctor's heavy breaths, Sniper assumed that he hadn't taken his time climbing up to his cabin. Medic looked worn, soaked with sweat and spattered with blood. He had dark circles under his eyes that told Sniper that he had once again been up all night.
"Nah, don't worry. I'm used to being baked in the sun."
However, he appreciated his teammates effort and gave him a smile as he took the water bottle from him. "Thanks, mate."
The German nodded and bid him goodbye as he left the wooden cooking pot. Sniper glanced quickly onto the battlefield again before taking a long drink from the water. Fresh and almost cool, it was a gift from heaven. He held the bottle on his forehead and closed his eyes for a moment. Just a short moment.
He opened his eyes and looked to his left. The BLU Spy had cocked his gun and placed it next to the water bottle, directly in line with his temple.
"Thanks for the water, anyway… Wanker" Sniper smiled.
Spy's lips curled up a bit as he pulled the trigger. He didn't choose it often, but today the Dead Ringer was definitely a good choice.
The Frenchman retrieved his water bottle and took a sip for himself. Slowly wiping away some sweat that was caught in his brows, he stayed in the cabin for a while and wondered how the Australian could handle the thick air.
"Don't mention it, Bushman." He finally replied as he took another drink, closing the bottle and leaving the rest next to the slowly vanishing corpse.
When the marksman arrived back at his nest, he was glad to find everything untouched. It was a small show of respect from the BLU Spy. Even though the two men were completely different, they respected each other. Spy might call him 'Bushman', but it felt more like a distinguished nickname for him, as he also called the RED Spy a 'Snob'.
Funny enough, Sniper thought the BLU and the RED Spy were very much alike in that way.
The BLU would re-adjust his tie with its fancy knot, a style that Sniper hadn't even realized was a thing until he'd arrive here. He would also check his entirely too expensive suit for blood drops, as he probably just noticed that Sniper's pooling blood had already reached his polished shoes. Sniper could tell from the bloody footprints that had been left behind. He didn't know why the Spies put up with this every day, always smartening themselves up just to get everything dirty and under-appreciated at the end of the battle. He himself was more the practical type.
The RED team won. The 'humiliation round' right after was over quickly, with no one having much energy left, even with respawn and healing. The rage of battle disappeared within minutes.
Sniper himself rarely joined the humiliation of the losing team. Just like him, the BLU's were hired to fight, to test weapons, to build strategies, to steal information, and of course, to kill. It was their job. That didn't mean he would pity them. No, he always gave his best; he was a professional after all. And that meant he would never let emotions get the better of him, but rather always fight with skill and discipline.
The day had drained the entire team to wheezing old men, leaving no one out. Even Scout letting himself collapse onto the base's couch. Pyro, in his full-body suit, wasn't as cheery and loud as usual. Demoman decided that it was a good idea to sit right in front of the opened refrigerator, with no guilt for how much it ran up their electricity bill, as he ignored the scolding he was receiving from Engineer and Soldier.
Sniper refilled his new water bottle at the sink, re-positioned his hat and was ready to leave this hell-like place.
"Yo, Legs! You really want to go out there again?" Scout muttered into the couch's cushion.
"Yeah, just needed some fresh water."
Sniper quickly took a look around to be sure that he hadn't forgotten anything. Demoman was still sitting in front of the refrigerator, Spy was trying to massage his headache away, and Pyro tried to lift Scout from the couch to have a seat for himself. Everyone else had already gone to their rooms inside the base.
He nodded, satisfied that he hadn't forgotten anything. And so he left. As always.
The air outside greeted him like an overbearing warm hug, and he already felt his clothes grow damp with sweat as they stuck to him. And he had only walked a few meters. Luckily, or rather, wisely, he had parked his van on the other side of the base, where it would be in the afternoon shadows.
He thanked his past self for thinking about that, his home seeming to have cooled down a bit in the shade and was now actually bearable to live in. Most people might say that it didn't really count as a home, but for the Sniper the van was everything, especially freedom. Not only was it perfect for his job, it let him be always on the run, easy to travel around, easy to hide far away from civilisation, but also probably the most perfect way to go and be wherever he wanted to be. He could live by the sea if he wanted to, go camping in a deep forest, set his home at a beautiful canyon for a month, or just hit the road and visit a nice town for a while. He never wanted anything more.
Of course, travelling was a bit restricted right now, his current job expected him to be in the same place. But he could still drive around a bit on the weekends or during ceasefires. He disliked being locked up with the same people in the same house for too long. Not that he disliked them, his team was okay, but after a time, he just needed his own space. He disliked the situation he was in. but he had to deal with it for now.
Hat and aviators were quickly put away, and his shirt and vest were dropped on the table as he desperately needed some air on his skin. He held the water bottle to his forehead, remembering how it had come into his possession.
He barely spoke to the BLU Spy, but he was sure that when this war was over he would buy the man a beer or two. The BLU was really not too unlike the RED Spy after all. Maybe the similarities were there because both were french, but that might have been overly simple. Or perhaps not. His father always told him that the French weren't really known for being affable.
From outside some screams and yells reached his ear and he peeked out the window, but couldn't see what was going on. But from what he could hear, he supposed that Soldier had finally had enough of Demoman's way of 'cooling down'. Their team really was a bloody mess. But in a few hours most of them would be asleep, except for Engineer and Medic, of course, who always had paperwork that took them deep into the night. Sniper always appreciated their hard work and what they did for their team, but he wouldn't switch with them.
The sun was nearly gone as he took himself outside, opening the door to let some fresh air into the van. A breeze blew over his body, cool but not cold enough to make him shiver. After blazing hot days like these, he enjoyed this moments even more. He sat himself down in his camp care, but for some reason he couldn't relax. Maybe because the back of the chair was slightly broken and pressed into his back. Or maybe it was because the Engineer and the Scout were visible at the horizon near their base, both looking across to the BLU side. He took a deep breath and let the curiosity win.
"Hey, what's going on?" He asked as he walked closer to his teammates. Scout looked amused while the Engineer looked more worried and confused.
"Just look down to the water! Something's going on over there."
Sniper followed Scout's view and saw a cluster of BLU's at the deck just above the entrance of their base. With the amount of activity going on, something big must have happened.
"I don't know what's going on, but BLU wouldn't go back to the battlefield if they didn't need to." The Engineer shook his head. "I don't like this." He added in a lower voice.
"Maybe someone got drunk and passed out there. They're probably just freaking out because he looks dead. Or funny. Have you seen how Soldier fell asleep that one time we were doing this new card game? Face down, ass UP!"
Sniper payed little attention to Scout's expression of a drunk Soldier as he tried to see what was laying in the middle of the BLUs.
"Yeah, maybe. Wait a sec, we'll find out." Sniper smirked, as he turned to head back to the base. He had a scope after all. When he returned a few minutes later with his rifle, he had been joined by Medic and Demoman.
"Come on! Come on! What do you see?"
Ignoring Scout's impatience, Sniper set up his scope, zoomed in and enhanced his view.
"I see six of them. Their Demoman, Heavy, Medic, Pyro-..."
"Six?!" Medic's voice was full of surprise. "And who is lying there?"
"They're standing in front of it, or well, him. But it's definitely a body." He clicked his tongue, irritated that he had no good view. "Wait they are moving him-" The scope nearly dropped from his hands as he realized what he saw, and had to scope in a second time just to be sure.
The back of his neck suddenly felt entirely too hot.
"And?" Scout leaned in, trying to appease his own curiousity.
"It's the BLU Spy."
Sounds of confusion came from all sides.
"He's dead." Sniper added quietly as he watched the BLU team carrying the headless body of his former arch-enemy away. A sudden weight came down on him, crushing him.
"Dead like – really dead? Doesn't he respawn?!" Scout spoke out what everyone was thinking.
Sniper just shook his head. Spy had been laying there for a while now, and respawn would take them after a few minutes, even after battle. Now the lifeless head lay in the hands of the BLU Medic, his face frowning and pale.
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