The time spent at Mountain Lab was some of the best you have had so far in your life with RED. The weather always seemed to be nice up there, the feeling of nature was refreshing; it almost gave you a sense that you were at home. It made for perfect conditions to accommodate with the mercenaries and their fighting and your job as well.
The battles between RED and BLU began to balance out once again. It left a stink of an attitude with the men when they lost, but it was satisfactory for you for they were never like that for long once they claimed another victory. It also lead you to do more bonding activities with the team as well. For example, on the night leading into a ceasefire day, the team had a campfire meal near the perimeter of the base (just so the mercenaries would not get into trouble). Nothing but drunken bliss, roasted weenies, and s' mores. Then all of you attempted to play a game of tipsy 5v5 baseball with rocks and a 2x4 wooden plank. A long story short; it was for the better that nobody won.
The time came and went. It was not long before your team was notified by Miss Pauling that you will be moving bases once again. You were sad to leave Mountain Lab-- friendships grew greater and things were looking up. But it could not be helped. You always were curious about where you were going to go. Part of you was expecting another alpine or badlands area, but to your surprise, it was far from both.
"Austria," Miss Pauling buzzed through the video speaker. "You guys are heading to the castle village of Hazyfort."
The thought excited you. You have never been to Austria before. It was an exciting first experience. Within a few days, you were flown over and stationed there. The architecture of the buildings amazed you. But you were curious as to why you were fighting in a place where there should be people living. It seems as if the town the teams were set up in was completely abandoned by civilians.
"There are people who live in the village. It is just the place we are designated, they intentionally have closed off so there is a battlefield to fight on and no civilians are harmed." The BLU Spy explained to you one night. You had just put all of your tools away and now was sitting with him at a picnic table going through the notes in the book he gave you. The question was recurring to you all day, so it was the one thing about your jobs you allowed to discuss on.
"I think the other thing that shocks me is how on earth does TF Industries have land all the way over here? Let alone, anywhere outside of the United States?" You inquired.
"You would be surprised, Choupette." He always seemed to refer to you by different nicknames at this point when the two of you talked. There were some that he used often, one common one was "mon amie". You knew what it meant, and you don't mind that he called you that. It was just some of the more uncommon ones he used you always wanted to ask what they meant, but did not want to sound foolish.
There was a dim flicker that came from your headlight, in an instant, it was consumed by the darkness of the night. The only light present was the ones from lamposts a distance away. And the fading embers of Spy's cigar.
"Oh, great..." You mumbled. You took the light off from your forehead and examined it. "It looks like the old thing finally decided to give out. Not like it had much to give in the first place."
The BLU Spy chuckled. "I suppose so. You'll have to get a new one for another night now so we can continue."
"Yeah..." You slowly closed the book and looked at the time on a small wristwatch you were given some time back by your team. "It's getting late anyway. Should we call it a night?" You stood up from where you were seated and tucked the book between your hand and your side. It was then when you felt Spy gently grab onto your wrist with a gloved hand to make you pause. A puzzled look came over your expression.
"Let's meet again tomorrow night," He started. "There's somewhere just outside the boundaries we can go and get a drink."
"Spy, we'll get in trouble." Some surprise escaped from your voice. "It's one thing for you to come out here, but it's a whole other if we just leave!" Spy didn't look fazed at all. He looked up at you blankly. "It would be a mess of trouble if someone from our teams caught us. Or even worse, if the Administrator found out."
"I can guarantee to make sure we won't get caught during that time." He took out the cigar that hung in his mouth.
"I have my ways." He smirked as he tapped the ash that sat at the butt. "Besides, it should give us a change of pace in something to do. Friends commonly go and get drinks together, yes?"
"I... I suppose so." You tucked some hair behind your ear. Your eyes kept flickering behind you.
"Then you should not worry about it. I will handle everything." He said in an assuring manner. You nodded your head slowly with uncertainty.
"... Alright, if you have that much confidence..." You looked back towards your base for some time before turning back to him. "I guess it should be fun."
"Excellent!" He said cheerfully. You gave him a timid smile.
"Great. I'll see you then." You were about to conclude. Your attention was already towards RED's base once more.
"Oh, and Backer..." The grasp that was once on your wrist slid into the pad of your hand. The pressure which he held it increased, but not by a lot to make it uncomfortable. It sent a jolt up your spine. "The place we are going to is of.. higher-grade. If you can, please bring some nicer formal clothing to dress into after cleaning."
Astonishment overrode your expression, "Okay..." You managed to squeak out. You could feel yourself begin to heat up. Spy slowly let go of your hand and stood up from where he sat.
"Perfect. Then it is settled. Until tomorrow night, Backer." With a wave of his hand, he was off in the direction of his base. You returned the gesture as his back was facing you.
"See ya." You jumbled out as you had already begun to walk back towards base. With the book between your armpit and side, you brought a hand up to gently grab onto the part of your hand that Spy held.
It gave you a strange feeling. One that you could not describe. He was so... delicate with his touch. You tried to shake the thought from your head. Nevermind it, there was probably no meaning to it. The two of you were post-battle friends. There's nothing inherently wrong with that from anyone's eyes besides your teams and the Administrator's more than likely. It's not like it was a date or anything, right? You didn't conceive it as one... Maybe it was best not to think too much of it. There was just anticipation for tomorrow night. Only Heaven knows what may happen.
Dusk was upon the horizon the next day. You paced back and forth in your room in an inquisitive manner. Just exactly how high-grade was this place you were going to? If you knew anything about either Spies, they were both ones for class. It would not surprise you at all if he just wore his casual suit because it was already high-grade enough (or so you heard from the rants your team's Spy had over his outfit getting ruined).
You did not want to enter the place looking like you did not care that you were just digging shallow graves and throwing bodies into a pit of fire, but you also did not want to walk in overdressed looking like the next Marylin Monroe compared to everybody else who wore only richer modish attire.
Should you do your hair? Your makeup? Should you leave it as is? Should you wait until you were done cleaning? What if the other guys caught you all dolled up wondering why you looked like that just to go clean corpses? Your brain was on overload. Plopping onto your bed you sat in thought for a minute. Then it hit you.
Digging through a wardrobe you found a medium-sized purse in your belongings. You placed some hair products of your choice, some makeup supplies, cleaning wipes, and a pocket mirror into the bag. Next, you put on your choice of gray semi-formal night-out clothing that you deemed would be "fancy enough". After scouting around your room you eventually were able to find an oversized rain poncho. You draped it over yourself to prevent your clothes from getting ruined by any mess from your work and put on your choice of shoes to compliment your outfit. With haste, you left the base. Luckily, nobody acknowledged you on the way out.
Observing your surroundings you felt like you had just hit a stroke of good fortune. The mess in the battlefield seemed to be minimal. You saw the BLU Spy when you reached about the halfway point of the map.
To your surprise, he changed up his outfit for once! He wore a suit vest complimented nicely with a fedora. All of which had blue representation, of course. You tried to suppress your laughter. It was strange to see the Spy look so different.
"Hey, won't you look at that. I didn't know Spies were allowed to own more than one suit." You teased. He chuckled at your response.
"And, I did not know you considered rain ponchos as formal wear." He remarked back.
You rolled your eyes. "I'll try to get done as quickly and cleanly as possible. There aren't as many to pick up today anyways. I'll just have to be careful not to ruin my shoes."
"In that case, I shall help you. It will make the process go faster. So you don't 'ave to worry so much about your footwear." And he did as he promised. The process went two times faster with the two of you cleaning up together. But you did notice he was pickier about the bodies he helped dispose of, probably so he would not stain his clothing either. He probably wished he had a rain poncho now, huh?
Once finished and the tools (and poncho) were put back, you two were crafty on your execution of leaving the area. There was a small wedge that you had to squeeze through and had to keep close to a stone wall. Spy was not kidding, not even a quarter-mile from where the bases were sat a large building with the common old-village timber lining. Soft yellow light poured out onto the cobblestone road through the small glass windows.
The two of you entered. The interior was smaller than it was perceived on the outside, but it was far more elegant on the interior. Mahogany wood, dark quartz, and deep yellow lighting decorated the place. Quiet jazz hummed in the background. A large variety of liquor selections stacked high against the side wall where an old bartender in nice clothing attended. There were quite a couple of people who sat at the booths and tables spread across the floor, all not too overly dressed to your relief.
Spy guided you to the bartop, where he pulled out a stool for you to sit on and one for himself. The bartender hovered over to the two of you immediately. A joyful look came across his face upon seeing Spy.
"Ah, freut mich, Sie wiederzusehen, mein blauer Freund!" He greeted him. With a charming smile, Spy greeted him back in the same tongue. You didn't know exactly what they were saying, but it sounded like German. You were in Austria.
You had a humble smile sit on your lips as the two made their exchange. Quickly, Spy broke the conversation and turned to you. "Feel free to order whatever you would like, mon amie. I will have it covered."
You felt a pang of guilt. You hated getting into disagreements like this, "No, Spy... I have my wallet on me. I can pay for my own drinks." He shook his head.
"Non, this was my idea. So at the very least, I can pay for it. Just tell me whatever you want to have and I will make sure you get it."
You did not want to drag the argument out any longer than it should of, so you complied with disapproval. You told him the choice of drink you wanted, and in turn, he told the bartender. With a sunny nod, the barman left your area leaving the two of you alone. Your eyes wandered the scene around you once more.
"This place sure is something." You whispered. Spy held his head up with a hand and watched your expression of amazement with a mirthful gaze.
"It really is. I happened to stumble upon it once before when I snuck out for a walk. It has been my favorite place to go every time we come here." He lit a cigar for himself. He offered one to you, but you declined politely.
The bartender returned with your drinks. Thanking him with a small "Danke" you brought the drink to your lips. with only a few sips it was probably one of the best drinks you've ever had. You drank slowly to savor it, the cheer was read clearly in your eyes.
"This is amazing," Your narration was quiet. "This entire place is wonderful."
"Not as wonderful as you are, chérie." Spy cooed. A tint of red appeared on your cheeks. "Did I ever mention that you look lovely this evening?"
You could feel yourself getting a little more flustered by the second, "Thank you... you look really nice yourself." You managed to peep out while bringing a hand to your cheek to feel its warmth. Your smile brightened, "But... I think the poncho added just the right flare that the outfit needed." You both laughed quietly.
The peaceful atmosphere of the environment was interrupted when there was a loud shatter of a glass hitting the floor. Immediately, your eyes averted to where the noise came from. Two burly men in chic trench coats sat across from each other. One looked shocked at the sudden attention he was given from him accidentally bumping over the glass. A waitress rushed over to him. It sounded like she was reassuring him that it was alright and began to clean up the mess. The two men looked up at each other and nodded. They slowly stood up at the exact same time and exited the facility.
You stared at the door in which the two men left. Your eyes were transfixed on it. It seemed like all noise around you was a blur. It was when your daze was interrupted by Spy lightly bringing a hand to your knee. "Backer, is everything alright?" He asked you in a concerned yet calm voice.
It took you another moment to check back into reality. "Uh- ...yeah. Everything's fine. I just got distracted for a moment." You could not explain why you were so fixated, it just happened every now and then. The bartender returned to the two of you.
"Es tut mir Leid, Sie unterbrechen zu müssen, Blau, doch sprecht deine Freundin Deutsch?" He inquired to Spy with a tilt of his head. He smiled and shook his head.
"Nein, sie spricht Englisch." A look of surprise came over the bartender's face as he turned to you.
"I apologize! I should have asked you sooner what language you spoke." His English was a bit broken, but it was enough for you to still understand.
"No, it's perfectly alright! He was doing a fantastic job translating." Reassuring the barkeep, you pointed to Spy. He gave you a sweet look in return.
Continuing from there, Spy, the bartender, and you conversed with each other. You got to know many details of the old tapster, his hobbies outside of work, his family, and even some information about the village. You and Spy did not disclose much information about yourselves, you just listened in interest to what he had to say.
Some time passed, and you felt like freshening yourself up a little. "I'm sorry to cut in, but where is the restroom?" You asked sheepishly to the old man.
"Down that hall and to your left, dear." He pointed to the very back of the building, just from the crook side of the back wall you could see it expanded more so behind a wall on the right side. You thanked him and quickly got up from your seat with your purse.
Upon entering the hall. At the very end of it was a staircase leading upwards. The building did seem like it had multiple floors from the looks of the outside. On the left was the women's washroom and to the right was the men's. The restroom was smaller than you expected, for it only could have one person in it at a time. It did not matter much to you, though. You would just be in and out anyways.
After doing what you needed to, you washed your hands. You looked into the mirror at your appearance and smiled. You did look really nice tonight. Thinking back at Spy's compliment brought color to your cheeks again.
Over the sound of the running water, you began to hear muffled voices. Each sentence after the other grew louder in volume and greater in intensity. Quickly turning the faucet off, you listened more closely. It seemed to be coming from above you. It sounded like a man, or maybe multiple men. Their tones grew more aggressive, but then they died down.
You exited the washroom, and your eyes peered towards the staircase that led up. A few bumps of footsteps could be heard from the ceiling of the washroom behind you. Then there was silence for a brief moment. Though the mumbles and some yells continued soon after.
A gnawing thought traveled through your brain. You contemplated, should you go up? Those voices seemed frustrated for whatever reason. Part of you screamed yes! Maybe you could found out if there was something wrong. The other more sensible side of you chanted no. It may be a private matter, besides that the second floor might be living quarters. So it may just be a family.
The sensible part of you won that argument. You slowly began to turn back in the direction towards the dining area. It was then a clearly audible DINK was heard from inside the women's bathroom. Your head peaked back inside to examine where the noise may have come from. There was no physical evidence of any change in the room. Although the sound of a pipe that lined against the wall began to hiss quietly. The only thing you knew for sure was that it was the sound of something in specific hitting metal.
A bullet hitting metal.
Your attention was back on the stairs again. The pounding of your heartbeat grew louder, and you must have been holding your breath because you took in a large gasp of air. And with dainty, quiet footsteps, you slowly began to move towards the steps.