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The sound of crying was unmistakable. Setting his rifle onto the ground, Sniper moved cautiously around the corner to see what was the cause of the noise, but deep in his mind, he had a pretty good idea. Finally, he reached the source of the cries and, even through all of the fog and heavy rain, the Australian could see a bundle of blankets in a basket partially hidden in a corner of an old shed.

As he moved closer, Sniper crouched down to his knees so he could get a good look at what the basket contained. There, wrapped up in some of the half soaked blankets, two plush bunnies, and crying like mad, was a seven month old baby girl. She had a tuft of dark brown hair on her head and sun tanned skin. She opened her eyes, which were a vibrant shade of amber, when she heard Sniper moving towards her. The baby looked at him with a confused and scared expression.

A cry of thunder rang out, making Sniper jump in slight surprise. The baby was startled and let out a cry of fear. She curled in on her self and gripped her plushies tighter as tears poured out of her eyes.

Sniper took his glasses and hat off to let the kid know he wasn’t an enemy, and that he wasn’t going to hurt her. “Hey there, now. It’s okay. You’re okay. I ain’t gonna hurt you or nothin’ like that. Shh shh shh."

The Australian slowly reached forward to caress the baby’s head, and she visibly relaxed at his gentle touch. The baby reached for his hand, grabbing onto his pinky finger with a smile. Sniper smiled back at her and, ever so gently, lifted her out of the basket to hold her close, to let her know she wasn't alone.

As Sniper tried to calm her down, Spy had shown up to see what his Australian lover was doing. He saw the basket, then the baby, and put two and two together. He bent down to inspect the basket while Sniper rocked side to side to calm the child. As he expected, Spy found a folded up note at the very bottom of the basket. He stood up to read what it said.


To whom it may concern,

If you are reading this, then it means you have found our daughter, Carol, and that we are most likely dead.

My husband was involved in some...dark business with some very bad people, and they threatened to kill our daughter if we didn't pay them the money they wanted.

We will be able to lead them away from her, but it is not safe, for us or Carol, if she were to be with us.

Whoever finds her, please take care of her, or find someone, anyone, that can help her.

She deserves the world.

Signed, Vivian, a mother who loves her daughter more than anything


Spy sighed as he folded the note back up and set in the basket. Sniper had managed to calm Carol into a sleep. She was now nestled close in his warm embrace. The rain was finally letting up. Spy turned to Sniper, who had a look on his face. It was the look of a man who had made up his mind.

With a sigh, Spy said, "Her name is Carol."

"Nice name," Sniper responded as he set the baby back into her basket. The two mercs joined hands as Sniper grabbed his gun and Spy grabbed their newest member of their family.

Things were about to change.

Chapter Text

Liam was beyond nervous. He couldn't stop fidgeting and chewing his nails every two minutes. He could tell Norma, mainly known as Miss Pauling, was nervous as well. She was just better at hiding it. A while after Norma and Liam had married, they planned to start a family, have a child.

They had done their research and planned for everything, along with help from many friends along the way. They had thought of names for both boys and girls. They had decorated an extra room in their home as a nursery for a newborn baby. Then, they went to the obstetrician. As they were there, they discovered the horrible truth of why all their attempts to have a baby were pointless. Norma was sterile. She wasn't able to have children.

For a few months, almost a year, Norma and Liam completely avoided the idea of being parents and having a child. Then, one day, something changed. Angel Wills, a member of Team Fortress and Medic's wife, talked with Norma about everything, then encouraged them to rethink some things. In the end, Jeremy and Norma decided that since they couldn't have their own child, adoption would be just as good.

Now, they were getting ready to go pick out a kid to call their own. A young man who had talked to them before came into the waiting room and motioned for them to follow. The three adults walked down a hallway to a large playroom that was filled with many children. The age seemed to range from toddler to teenager, and most of them were playing in groups. Others were off on their own, doing their own thing.

The man left Liam and Norma figure it out while went over to help some kids with a problem. The former mercs sat down on a bench and watched the kids, utterly confused about what to do next.

"Can't have a kid?"

Liam and Norma looked to their left to see a little boy, probably eight or ten years old, sitting on the floor with his legs crossed and a book about baseball opened wide on his legs. He looked up at them while brushing his shaggy black hair out of his face. His eyes were a pretty swirl of blue and green, like tropical waters. He cocked his head to the side and closed his book. "Most of the adults who come here either can't have a kid or don't want to have one of their own. Which one are you here for?"

"We...can't have a baby." Norma's eyes darkened with sadness while Liam took her hand in his to comfort her. The little boy closed his book, put it back on the shelf, and moved closer to her, patting her other hand.

"I'm sorry. I'm sure the kid you choose will be a good choice. The kids here are really nice, and they all really hope to be adopted. They feel really happy for the ones that do get adopted, but they're sad to see them go."

"You sure know a lot, kid. You watch instead of interact much?" Liam asked as he smiled at the kid.

"Yeah. People may be nice, but I don't have any friends here. I just like to read or play baseball. It's hard to play baseball with only one player, though." The kid moved his feet left and right in a lazy motion. Norma could see him carefully watching the other children with a trained eye. He was remembering the little things that would only matter later, when he needed them.

The three sat in shared silence until the kids were called to lunch. As they filtered out of the room, the little boy grabbed his baseball book and hurried after the other kids. Before he could walk out the door, Norma stopped him. "Wait! We never learned your name."

The little boy turned around to smile at them and reply, "My name's Harlem, like in New York City." With that, he was gone.

Liam and Norma shared a look, then got up when the man returned. "So, have you made your decision? Or do you want to think about it some more and come back another time? I can help set up an appointment."

Liam thought about it, glanced at his wife, then said, "I think we know what we're going to do. What can you tell us about that Harlem kid?"

Chapter Text

The nurses and doctors wore shaded lab coats. The floors were white and lime green tiles packed tightly together. The light grey hallways seemed to stretch on forever. Some people kept shouting at Pyro to stop and come back to fill out some paper work, but Pyro didn’t listen. He just kept running. He had to be there.

Pyro thought of all the things that could've gone wrong. He thought of the warnings and the signs, but he just shook the memory away, picking up speed down the hall. He took a turn, almost knocking down a doctor and his wheel-chaired patient.

The entire building seemed to heat up. Pyro heard a male voice calling after him. He heard someone sprinting behind him. Pyro was stalled by some guards that worked at the hospital in the middle of the hallway. As they tried to hold him back, Pyro could hear some doctors and a nurse shouting from the room he was desperately trying to get to.


“Her pulse is dropping! She’s flat-lining!!!”

“Get the defibrillators! And get something to stop all the bleeding!!”

The blood was everywhere.

She was slowly dying, but she didn’t feel pain. She just felt really hot. It was so hot. The shouting gradually faded away, leaving room for the deafening ringing in her ears.

She visibly relaxed, but she sat upright when she heard the sound of crying. She waited a few minutes, and she opened her eyes.

The doctor was holding twins, a boy and a girl. They were so small, scrunched up faces and mouths opened with screams.

She sobbed her final breath before finally relaxing against the bed. At least she got to see them before she...


Pyro growled at the men, activated his flamethrower, and let the flames do their job. When he was done, he hurried to a room at the end of the hall and kicked the door down. The pyromaniac slowed down when he saw the woman. Her boy was pale and limp. Someone had cleaned up the blood and brushed her hair out of her face. She was dead, but she was still so beautiful.

She was smiling.

She was dead, but she was smiling. Without any warning, Pyro dropped his flamethrower and fell to his knees beside her hospital bed. He ripped his mask off, removed his gloves, and took her cold, limp hand in his burn scarred ones and cried. He cried for not being there when she had passed. He cried for so many lost times they wouldn't be able to spend together now.

Suddenly, the sound of whimpers and cries caught the merc's attention. He looked up to see the twins in separate beds that held the babies after birth. They had been cleaned up and wrapped in blankets colored by their gender. The little girl cried, then cried louder as her brother joined in. Pyro hesitantly let go of the woman's hand and stepped towards them. With shaky movements, he took both twins in his arms and held them close. He rocked them back and forth, whispering to them, saying it was okay.

The twins stopped crying to open their eyes and gaze up at the man who was speaking to them. His eyes were wild and fiery, but they were warming. He smiled at them and nuzzled his head against theirs. Looking at the beds, he saw that their names were Elise and Ethan. He nodded, glad that those were the choices.

As the kids began to fall asleep, Pyro leaned back and looked at the now deceased woman. Deep in his heart, he promised, he swore that he would protect the kids. He promised his wife that he would do good for both of them.


The woman sighed as she finished putting bandages on Pyro's shoulder. He was sitting on the couch of their studio apartment beside his love with an ashamed expression. He had gone on a "job", and it had ended badly.

“You should really be more careful on these missions, baby. You might get a wound you can’t recover from one day,” the woman joked as she sat beside the masked maniac.

Pyro just turned his head in the opposite direction with his mask still on his face. Pyro's wife took the mask in her hands and pulled it off, relishing in the sight of his face. Pyro couldn't help but smile as he gazed into her pale blue eyes and pushed some of her wild red hair out of her face.

With a sigh, his wife asked, “Promise me you’ll be more careful? Especially in your line of work? I'm sure the kids will want their father in their lives. Plus, I don't wanna lose you either."

Pyro nodded, a silent confirmation that went a long way.

Chapter Text

“Alright, Angel. You’re seven centimeters dilated,” the doctor explained. “We have to wait until you’re at ten.”

“Seriously?!" Angel shouted as she gripped the sides of the hospital bed.

“Angel, the best we can do is the Epidural we already gave you. I’ll be back soon.” The doctor stepped out and Demo poked his head out from behind the curtain, then stood next to the bed. “Kid's takin' their time,” he scoffed.

“Looks like she wants to come out when she wants to,” Angel cringed at another contraction. “Have you gotten a hold of Medic?”

Demo shook his head. "I did manage to call the others. We're here for ye, kid." A contraction hit and lasted longer than a minute that Angel cried out in pain. “Demo, I’m so sorry you are seeing this! Gah!” Then, Angel felt his hand take hold of hers. Through squinting eyes, she gave him a half-hearted smile. She breathed through the pain, then squeezed his hand. “Annalise,” he whispered under his breath.

“W-what?”

“A suggestion for her name.”

There was a knock on the door and Angel looked over to see Engineer with the rest of the boys with him.

“Whoa Angel,” Soldier commented. “Medic really did it this time.”

Angel growled inhumanly at the man as she continued to breath deeply. “Soldier, you say one word and I will make sure you never have children.” She glared at him the best she could under her circumstances. “Sorry,” he said as he raised his hands in surrender.

“Engie, where is Auggie?” Angel hissed through gritted teeth. The man looked like he didn't want to answer that question because he knew it would make her angry, and she didn't need that right now, but he had no choice. "He's on his way, but he got stuck in traffic."

Angel was silent for a moment, then grew horribly enraged. “That bastard!” she shrieked out as another contraction hit.

“Heavy will be in waiting room,” Heavy pointed out.

“Me too,” Scout joined in.

"Guys, you go to the waiting room and try to get a hold of Medic. I'll wait here with Angel until he arrives." Engineer began ushering people out. He saw that Demo was hanging back, and he took his friend's arm to pull him along. “Come on, Demo,” Engineer motioned. Demo, however, ripped his arm away from Engineer and crossed them over his chest with a disapproving look. “I ain't leavin' Angel.”

“It's alright, Demo. Go with the others. I'll be fine,” Angel said, reaching up and touching his cheek. Demo still looked upset about leaving, but he just sighed, pressed a kiss to Angel's cheek, and said, "If Medic ain't here soon, I'll kill 'im for ye."

Angel couldn't help but laugh. "Good to know.”

Demo headed out as Engineer took his place next to the bed where he had been standing. Angel tried to take deep breaths, but it was becoming difficult. "Dell?"

Engineer locked eyes with Angel. “Yeah, kiddo?”

Angel winced in pain, hissing like mad. Engineer took her hand in his to help her. “I hate to admit this…gah…but I’m scared.”

Engineer gave her an encouraging smile. “Don’t worry, ma'am. You’ll be just fine.”


Dammit! Vhy did it have to be rush hour?!   Medic, also known as Augustus, thought. He had left his phone in his desk and hadn’t received the messages from everyone telling him that Angel had went into labor until Archimedes had kept trying to get him to answer the phone. Now, Medic was rushing to reach the Downtown Hospital.

Just then, his phone rang again and he quickly answered. “How is she?”

She’s pretty close, ” Scout answered. "Engie and a doc are helping her right now. Where are you?

“I’m pulling in right now.”

I see you, just leave the car. Heavy will take you up. I'll park the car.

“Fine.”

Augustus skidded to a halt in front of the hospital entrance and nodded to Scout, then followed behind Heavy towards the Maternity Ward.

“Has anyone spoken to ze doctor?”

“Nope. Engineer is with her right now, but you’re in deep shit.”

“Don’t remind me,” Augustus groaned.


“I’ve had enough, get them out of me!” Angel was tired and angry and worried about how everything would go down. The doctor had returned to help her while Engineer stayed by her side the whole time. Still no sign of Medic.

“Good news, Angel. You are now at ten centimeters. You can start to push when you feel the next contraction.” The doctor began, but Angel's face showed all kinds of worry and fear. “Wait, he’s not here yet!”

The door suddenly slammed open to reveal Medic and Heavy. Immediately, Angel glared at her husband. “Where the hell were you?!” Augustus just waved his hand. “Not vorth ze explanation. Engie, could you?”

With a nod, Engineer left the room with Heavy while Augustus leaned on the bed and took his wife’s hand in his, allowing her to squeeze it when she felt the pain. She smiled at him despite the pain, and began the procedure. For the next few hours, it was agony.


Hours later, Augustus’ hands cradled Angel’s face while he placed multiple pecks on her lips and face. He muttered ‘thank yous’ and words of endearment between kisses. “You are ze most vonderful voman,” he whispered, “you did it, you brought zem to us.”

Tears were pricking at the corners of Angel’s eyes. She did do it. All fears from before slowly dissipated. She had brought a baby girl and boy into the world. “Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig,” the doctor said as he walked close to Medic, “would you like to meet your children?”

Augustus hesitated before taking them in his arms. They was so small compared to his forearms. The girl was a peachy cream color with the slightest tuft of black hair on her head. The boy was abnormally pale with matching black hair. Augustus brought them towards Angel so she could see them. They started to coo as they moved their little heads and opened their eyes. Angel was met with the most beautiful pair of sky blue eyes, a trait from Medic, and a pair of sparkling shamrock green eyes, a trait from herself. “Hi, babies,” Angel whispered her greeting with a smile. "We've been waiting for you."

Augustus cradled his son's head in his hands. “Zey’re perfect,” he muttered. “Just like zeir mother.”

Angel softly scoffed, “You’re crazy.” “Maybe,” he kissed her cheek. “I married you after all, and von a var against robot versions of myself und my friends. Now, ve have two new challenges.”

“Yeah, just wait until they ask you for every little thing they see. They'll have you wrapped around their fingers," Angel chuckled.

“Zey already do. Vat about names?"

Angel didn't waste time answering. "Annalise and Ryker Ludwig."

Augustus beamed when he heard his wife. "Perfect fit."


Later that day, after everyone had come in to see the twins, Demo was sitting beside Angel's bed while Medic talked with the doctor outside in the hall. Angel glanced at the demolitions man as he eyed the babies in her arms carefully. "They're not going to hurt me, if that's what you're thinking."

Demo looked up, as if he had been snapped out of a trance. He cleared his throat and blushed slightly, making Angel laugh. Then, an idea popped into her head. She situated herself real quick, then held out Annalise to Demo. "Would you like to hold her? I saw you didn't get your chance before when everyone else was in here."

At first, Demo looked ready to say no, but one look from Angel was all it took to change his mind. With a sigh, he gently took the baby girl in his arms and looked down at her expectantly, as if she were to do something as soon as she was in his arms. Instead, she just smiled with sparkling eyes as she reached for his beard. She only rubbed the side of his face, and Demo was hooked.

As Angel began to drift asleep with Ryker in her arms, Demo silently promised to himself, Medic, and Angel that he would help out in any way when it came to these kids.

Chapter Text

The town was littered with blood, suits and shells. Red, black and khaki were the new colors of what was once a small, hard working town, which was now the latest stage of a tragic civil war. The air, which would normally carry the sound of working people and large tools, was now carrying a thick, black smoke and small embers, a sight of pure nightmares.

Two parties had fought each other for independence, but it was starting to become clear which side would win. The dead of the losing side laid in large groups across the roads of the town and the faces of what remained of the fighters had been grim with sorrow and despair. With victory ready for the taking, the winning side had fought with new found strength. Some had succumbed to the terror and were no longer capable of moving, let alone defending themselves, while others fought by only focusing on their enemy and not the carnage around them. The toll on both nature and humanity was unimaginable. It would likely take decades before the town would recover. It was clear weaponry, broken siege engines, and gore had taken the place of businesses, schools, and homes.

Soldier was silent as he stood, respecting those who had fallen. He hadn't been in the fight, but he saw it all happen. He took off his helmet, ran a hand through his military cut blonde hair, and sighed heavily while staring at the ash covered ground. He could hear some of his comrades behind him surveying the damage, but one figure came up behind him and gripped his shoulders. Engineer sorrowfully looked around at the once good town with sad eyes. He came up beside Soldier and removed his goggles, revealing his heterochromatic eyes. They took in every dark scene and ruined home, even when they didn't want to.

Both men started to walk back to the others, who also softened at the sight of the destruction, but Soldier suddenly stopped. He put his helmet back on and turned back around, heading into the town, towards the still standing remains of buildings. The others were confused, but Engineer nodded at them, letting them know he would get the man. The worker headed off while everyone else headed back to the van.

Soldier was trotting around the roads over bodies and past upturned cars, looking around with a desperate look. Finally, he stopped at a pile of snapped metal beams and heaps of rubble. He started to move some of it out of the way. When Engineer saw him, he stood still with confusion. Soldier stopped for a moment to turn to his lover and say, "Don't just stand there! Help me move this stuff, maggot!!"

Engineer rolled his eyes and helped move some of the rubble. They did the task for a good amount of ten minutes before finding something beneath it all.

There was a little boy, most likely not even five yet, clinging to the arm of a man whose body was still as death and crushed underneath some heavier rubble. What was once a t-shirt was now a vile collection of pieces of dirty fabric, grime and muck. It barely managed to hang from his shoulders, like a discarded old towel. Part of the bottom had been torn off and the sleeves were worn away as well, leaving much of him exposed to the elements. He had on a worn out poncho over his t-shirt. It was a nasty mess of stains and dirt, but at least it helped him stay protected from the elements, even if only for a little.

His pants were just as bad. Dirt and other substances had stained the pants and gave them a new color, but at least he had shoes to protect his feet. Though, they were tattered, barely the right size and the outer fabric was tattered, worn and missing in some places. The boy wore a scarf around his neck and had it wrapped around his face to just below the nose. It was full of holes, but still holding together. His head was bare, and his dirty blonde hair had been cut to his scalp.

He looked up in surprise at the strangers that had found him in his isolated prison. His wide brown eyes were filled with fear as he gripped the dead man's arm tighter. Engineer saw that the man and the boy shared similar features, making him realize that they were possibly related. Soldier removed his helmet and slowly moved towards them. The boys didn't move, but he continued to watch Soldier like a hawk. He glanced at Engineer for a second, then went straight back to Soldier. The American warrior finally stopped just inches from the boy and bent down to his knees. He said softly, "What's your name, private?"

The boy just shook his head. Soldier cocked his head to the side. "You don't got one?"

The boy nodded. He then looked at the man and whispered, "Grandpa..."

Soldier seemed to understand. He sat down and criss crossed his legs while motioning for Engineer to come down with him. When Engineer sat down beside him, Soldier asked another question. "Do you have any other family?"

The boy, not taking his eyes off his dead grandfather, shook his head with tears in his eyes. He began to cry as he let go of the man's arm, allowing it to fall to the dirt covered land. He wrapped his arms around himself and cried, choking on some of his sobs. Engineer reached forward and carefully pulled the boy into an embrace. The boy suddenly cried even louder, but this time, it was because he was in pain. Engineer looked down at the boy's legs and saw that they were limp. The boy couldn't walk. He had lost all feeling in his legs.

Engineer was careful and easy as he helped the child into his arms. The boy stiffened at the sudden contact, but he slowly relaxed into it as he realized these were good people. While the boy cried, Engineer turned to Soldier and said, "We can't just leave him here."

"Spy and Sniper took in their own kid. Why can't we?" Soldier suddenly pointed out. Engineer started to say that what their friends had done was different, but he stopped when he saw the little boy looking at him. He had stopped crying, and he was now gripping the man's shirt tightly. It looked like he wasn't going to let go. Engineer shook his head.

"Well, if we're going to take care of him, we oughta give 'im a name."

"Dell!" Soldier shouted, gaining the attention of the boy. Engineer rolled his eyes. "That's my name."

"Then Dell Jr!! That's your name now, son!" Soldier said happily as he rubbed the boy's head. Dell Jr smiled at Soldier's actions, then yawned and snuggled into Engineer's shirt. The little group stayed like that for a while until Engineer stood up and helped Soldier up onto his feet.

"Come one, now. The other's will be wonderin' where we're at."

Chapter Text

"Stay tuned for more Ghost D.A!"

Tavish let out a heavy sigh as he took another swig of some beer. While Eyelander ranted about the main character making an incorrect court joke, the Scottish man sat up and shuffled into his room. He scratched at his chin where his beard had overgrown into rugged sideburns. His dirty and incredibly smelly bath robe flowed around him as he took it off and began putting on some cleaner clothes.

It had been a couple of years since Team Fortress disbanded and went on to live peaceful lives. Medic and Angel were raising their twins in the beautiful countryside of a rustic American town that idolized both adults in their fields, medical and artistic. Spy and Sniper had moved into a French apartment in Paris to raise their little girl with the love her life deserved. Pyro's whereabouts were unknown, but last Demo had heard, the maniac had been spotted in Teufort with two babies in his arms and a Fire Axe. Engineer and Soldier had moved out Texas to apply for some jobs that would support their son's treatment for his immobilization. Heavy moved himself, his gun, his new daughter, and his family to a big log cabin in the mountains of Alaska, which was a big change from Russia. Even Mrs. Pauling and Scout had moved to the city with their son for an education in sports.

Demo had gone off on his own and did his own thing, but that honestly just led him to a mansion his mother had owned. It was his house now, and he had only drunk multiple bottles of multiple kinds of drinks, had long talks with Eyelander, and watched shitty shows on his TV.

With another sigh, Tavish drifted out of his thoughts and saw that he had finished shaving, without even thinking about it. Swishing some mouthwash around, Tavish spit it out and stepped out of his room, just as the doorbell rang. With a roll of his eyes, the Scottish man swung the door open with a sunken, tired look, then stood up straight when he saw a dark skinned woman standing just inches from the door. She had curly caramel brown hair held back in a tight bun. She had on some loose but comfortable clothing, and a couple of bags in her arms.

A little girl, around the age of four or five, was holding onto her leg with a panda bear plush tightly in between her little arms. She had curly hair, like the woman, but it was held in matching pigtails, barely brushing the sleeves of her yellow dress. She looked up at Tavish with big, innocent brown eyes, same color as his, and turned to the woman. "Mum, is this him?"

The woman sighed with a disappointed look on her face as she answered, "Yes, Nikki. This is your dad."


Moments later, Tavish was handing Evangeline, the woman from before, a drink while Nikki was sitting criss-crossed on the floor, telling Eyelander about how she got her panda plush. Evangeline was a woman Tavish had met years before during his days as a merc, and their romance was real, not disillusioned by copious amounts of alcohol Demo had drank. They had been in love, and one thing led to another. Of course, it wasn't exactly safe to have such relationships when you had a job like Demo did, so he had to break things off with her. He wouldn't have done so if he had known Evangeline was pregnant when he had left her.

Now, both adults were sitting at the table in the kitchen, watching Nikki's face light up as Eyelander told her stories of their and Demo's days on the battlefield. Evangeline rubbed her temple as she slid some papers towards Tavish. Setting his drink down, Tavish skimmed it, but only needed to read a few parts to understand what they were about.

Legal documents.

Shared custody.

"Are ye serious?" he asked, looking up from the papers. Evangeline glanced at Nikki, then back at Tavish. "Yes, I'm serious. I know you and me ended things a long time ago, but Nikki wants to know her father. This, if you can believe it, was the easiest way of doing so."

Tavish set the papers down and let out a breath. After everything that was happening, he was becoming a father. It was the last thing he had expected to become. He looked at the papers, then Evangeline, then Nikki. Everything was silent.

"Tavish, can we keep this kid?! She's awesome!!" Both Tavish and Evangeline watched as the sword glowed brighter as Nikki beamed at it for the wonderful stories. The little girl turned to her parents and asked, "Dad, 'ow did ye get this sword? Did ye fight for it?"

"I'll...tell you about it later, kiddo." Talking like that was like sandpaper on his tongue, but it also felt a little nice. Evangeline chuckled softly. "You still carrying around that ghost sword?"

"Yep. Don't go nowhere without it." Demo looked back at Evangeline, who somehow looked like she had aged ten years in the ten minutes she had been sitting there beside him. Rubbing his face in his hands, Tavish locked eyes with her and asked, "What's the plan with the kid?"

Chapter Text

How could this have happened? the BLU Medic, a.k.a Rudolf, thought. He looked down at the bundle of white and blue blankets in his arms. There, slept a baby female, no older than seven months, peacefully unaware of the situation that they were in. How was he going to explain this to the BLU Heavy, a.k.a Mikael? He was going to kill him, then the baby.

Once stepping past the threshold of their log cabin home, the BLU Medic saw Mikael cooking some sort of stew in the kitchen. The man's sisters and mother were in the living room, talking among themselves. “Rudolf, just the man I wanted to see,” Mikael said with a warm smile. He stepped away from the stew to hug his husband, but frowned in concern and confusion when Rudolf barely reciprocated said hug.

“Hallo, Mikael. Um, I’m feeling a little tired from vork, so I zink I’m just going go to our room und rest for a little bit,” Rudolf suggested with a sheepish grin. He tried to hide the baby by bringing her to his side and leaning on the opposite left while speaking.

Mikael raised a confused eyebrow, saying, “What is doktor talking about? You are never tired when you come home from work. Always having good time when at hospital.”

Rudolf let out a cough when he heard the baby gurgle in her sleep. “V-Vell, I haven't been getting proper rest recently…”

“What is little man hiding?” Zhanna suddenly asked, eyeing her brother-in-law suspiciously.

A strangled sound left Rudolf’s throat when the baby in his arms started to stir. “'Hiding? I am not hiding anyzing,” he cleared his throat once more and stared at Mikael's mother, who narrowed his eyes with suspicion. Finally, she said nothing and nodded at him, signaling him to leave. Rudolf let out a breath he didn't know he was holding and walked past the family.

He was only a couple steps away from his bedroom door when a loud wail stopped him in his tracks and made everyone in the room turn towards him. “Scheisse! Ve vere so close, too,” he muttered under his breath. Rudolf raised his arms to take a look at the baby, who was now wailing in his arms.

“Rudolf! Is that a baby in your hands?!” Mikael shouted, stomping over towards the distressed child and his embarrassed looking husband. “I knew doktor was hiding something, but not this!” His yelling confused the baby even more, making her cry louder.

Mikael's mother quickly made her way towards the two and scooped the child from Rudolf’s arms. “Please be careful vith her!” Rudolf said. His cry of protest was cut short when Mikael's mother started rocking the child in her arms and cooing softly. After a couple of seconds, the crying stopped and was replaced by happy gurgles.

“Rudolf...Where did you find this child?” Yana asked softly, not wanting to frighten the child.

Rudolf rubbed the back of his head and said, “Vell, my most recent patient was not...as cooperative as ze ozers, und it didn't end vell. It turns out zey had a child, zat child, und I couldn't just leave it alone! So, I may or may not have taken on ze responsibility of taking care of her.”

Mikael and his family listened intently, then looked down at the baby. She had a pale, almost grayish skin tone, signalling that she must've been sick. A tuft of black hair was growing from her scalp, and her milky blue eyes looked right back at them with expected curiosity. She reached up at Mikael's mother, trying to grab the tassels of the woman's shawl. With a sigh, Mikael gave his husband a simple nod, then asked, "What is child's name?"

"Vell, my patient kept saying, "Greta", so zat must be it."

Chapter Text

Gerard was only a few years old when he met his parents. He didn't meet them alone, however. It was a blistering hot day in Australia as Gerard speed-walked through the thin crowd of people down the streets. On his back was his baby sister, Audrey. She whimpered from the heat, to which he quickly pulled her hood over her head, shielding her from the sun. As he did so, he saw that the back door of a restaurant was left open slightly. An idea began to form in his head.

Looking left, then right, Gerard tried to look as casual as he could while making his way up to the door. He slipped inside, closed the door, turned around, then gasped. Tray upon tray of food, from grilled shrimp to freshly made pasta, was wafting towards him. His stomach growled in protest to not even think of giving this score up. His sister must've smelled the food as well, because she began to babble incoherent sounds.

Not one to deny his sister any meal of any kind, Gerard took a deep breath before sneaking over and grabbing what he could carry. A couple of loaves of bread, a small box of lasagna, a few cakes-

"Oi!"

Gerard looked up in surprise when he saw that a tall man in a blue jumper and khaki pants was watching him with a bewildered expression. That man was Patrick, the BLU Sniper, and he just so happened to be the owner of the restaurant, so he didn't favor the idea of some random kid stealing his food. Randomly, Gerard wondered how the man could wear a jumper in the heat they were experiencing, but that idea quickly vanished as he broke into a sprint to the backdoor. Patrick ran after him, startling a couple of patrons in the restaurant.

Once Gerard reached the door, he thought he was home free, but that freedom lasted less than a couple of seconds when another man, who was wearing a blue tailored suit, slammed the door shut and locked it. Gerard hadn't even seen him appear, wondering where in the world he had come from. From the wall, like a phantom? This man was Jean, the BLU Spy, and he looked down at the boy with an amused grin. Gerard, however, scowled as he began to back up. Unfortunately, Patrick came up from behind him with an unhappy frown.

"Care to tell us why you were stealing from us, petit garçon?"

[little boy]

At first, Gerard thought of saying nothing, but Audrey began to cry from the unexpected tussle. She gripped his semi-long blonde hair, burying her face in his shoulder. Momentarily, Gerard forgot about the men and tended to his sister. Once she had calmed down, Gerard saw that both men were watching him with interested eyes. "If you wanted something to eat, you could just ask, y'know." Patrick led the boy and his sister back to the kitchen, where they sat down at a mini table. Patrick laid out some food for the two of them, then flinched back slightly when the kids swooped down on it like vultures that hadn't eaten in days.

When they had finished, Gerard wiped his mouth, then his sister's, then turned to the men. Jean laced his fingers together and rested his chin on top of them. "Now can you tell us your story, my little friend?"

Gerard sighed, then began hesitatingly. "My...My name is Gerard, and this is my baby sister, Audrey. We...do not have a home, so we cannot provide ourselves with any food. I apologize for stealing, but I had no other choice."

"And your parents?" Patrick asked. Gerard's eyes hardened at the mention of his parents. He clenched his fists under the table, controlled his breathing, then answered, "They did not want us."

Patrick and Jean looked at each other in surprise, then stepped out to speak. Gerard watched them walk into a hallway near the kitchen, then turned back to Audrey. She was playing with some icing she had gotten on her fingers from a little strawberry shortcake. Gerard chuckled, taking some of the icing and wiping it on her cheek. Audrey giggled, then put some icing on Gerard's nose. She then leaned forward to kiss it off. Gerard's heart swelled from the action, then gave his sister a kiss.

At this moment, Jean and Patrick came back in and sat down. Patrick took his hat off, setting it on the table. "Look, Gerard. We ain't too happy 'bout you stealing from us, but how 'bout this? If we let you stay with us, will you promise not to steal from us anymore? Or at all, for that matter?"

Gerard squinted in suspicion. This was a strange offer, but it was his only chance to live in an actual home and not have to sleep in a half-torn cardboard box he had pulled out of a dumpster. It also meant no orphanages with overbearing owners or ratty kids that loved to pick you apart and push you down. He looked at Audrey, who was suddenly interested in Patrick's hat. She picked it up and slipped it on her head, giggling like mad when it covered her entire head. Patrick laughed as he moved back slightly to give her vision again.

Gerard smiled, then said, "I suppose that is alright with us."