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Love and War

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The burning sensation in the BLU Scout’s chest wouldn’t stop, no matter how much he gripped the shirt over-top of where the pain was. It made no difference how much he fingered or groped the bloody fabric or the slippery handle of the butterfly knife; he simply couldn’t free himself of the pain or the blade. It was slicked, absolutely coated, with his blood and he had no strength left in his hands to fight with it any longer. The only things his fingers knew were a sick tingling and an unmistakable ice cold feeling. As he gasped for air, something that was becoming more and more difficult with each labored breath, he stared at the roof of the broken down building, a former shell of what it once was as a result of battle. It was almost peaceful, or at least would have been if not for the unbearable pain he was experiencing.

Then, suddenly, there his attacker was, looming over him with a smug look creasing his bastard face. RED Spies always thought they were so clever. The Scout arched his back and dug his heels into the dirt to push himself backwards. However, his effort didn’t get him very far. He only managed to put himself in even more pain, which made it harder for him to breathe, and that resulted in him sputtering blood and spit on his chin as he coughed.

“Now your outfit matches my suit,” the Spy said as he proudly gestured to himself and cocked his hip. “Classy, no?”

“Naw, shitstain, it’s not,” Scout swished the words around his mouth mixing them with nearly a teaspoon’s worth of blood, all of which he spat out in a vain attempt to reach the Spy. The Spy kneeled down over top of the Scout, legs straddling either side of his hips, pressing the kid’s forearms down with his knees, and leaned in close. Too close. Uncomfortably close. He-could-smell-tobacco-and-smoke-on-the-Spy’s-stupid-breath close. How he wished he had held onto his spit a moment longer.

“Too bad your mother didn’t pass ‘er exquisite tastes down to you,” the Spy answered. He thoughtfully chewed on his cigarette for a moment. “Nor, does it seem, that she taught you ‘er manners.”

“Ma isn’t exactly a delicate flo—” Before the Scout could finish his thought the Spy plucked his cigarette from his teeth and proceeded to extinguish it just below the Scout’s right eye. He smiled and savored the screaming, like a decadent treat after dinner. He could almost taste the youth’s agony.

Chut, l'enfant,” the Spy said, pressing a hand to the Scout’s mouth and nose. “No reason to worry. It’ll all be over soon.”

He could feel the Scout desperately struggle beneath him; every muscle tighten and relax, tug and pull, as he desperately tried, and failed, to free himself. It was pure bliss, the struggle before the kill. This part of the hunt should always be savored. The Scout’s eyes widened, finally beginning to lose their luster and shine. He kicked his legs, occasionally bumping a knee harmlessly into the Spy’s upper back. Small bursts of sound erupted from the Scout’s throat, crackling from the lack of airflow, croaking from the lack of oxygen. To the RED Spy, it was a glorious symphony. To the BLU Scout, it was a despairing swansong.

“What? No wise cracks?” The Spy taunted. The Scout gave one final, weak kick, and then let his legs fall in defeat. The Spy ran his tongue over his teeth, eyes glued into the Scout’s, eagerly waiting for the life to leave them. “I didn’t think so.”

“Neither did I, mate.”

A stranger? The Spy cursed under his breath for letting someone, anyone, sneak up behind him. He roughly ripped his butterfly knife from the Scout’s chest—who gasped in both sweet relief and agony from the sudden rush of air and the agony from the knife leaving his body—at the sound of a stranger’s voice and spun around, but he was too late. He collapsed to the side of the Scout following the sound of a sick twang and thud; an arrow stuck out from the back of his skull. Behind him was a BLU Sniper, lowering his Huntsman.

“What took ya?!” The Scout choked on his own words as he gasped for air.

“Was a bit…preoccupied.” The Sniper kicked the Spy’s body off of the Scout’s much weaker one, and then kicked it again for good measure. He sneered in disgust before kneeling down and pulling the Scout’s arm around his shoulders by his hand. “C’mon, on yer feet, lad.” He hoisted the Scout up. “Can ya walk?”

“Whaddaya think, smart-ass?” Even though he protested a bit, physically demanding with every move to walk on his own (regardless of his very obvious handicaps), he gave the Sniper’s hand a gentle squeeze, just a little one, and hoped it wouldn’t be noticed. His mother used to do that for him if he ever lost a fight. It brought him comfort and a certain sense of love, all of which he needed in that moment.

“Try.” The Sniper began walking, almost dragging the Scout as he made his way back to the base. Against his better judgment, he returned the squeeze. He knew the Scout was young and probably homesick. His mind raced with other fleeting ideas, all of which he dismissed before letting them become actual thoughts. There was nothing else he could do for the kid, except for call over a Medic.