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Love and War

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The Medic had been very adept in performing multiple surgeries on his fellow mercenaries, as it took merely a few days for everyone’s stitches to dissolve and their necks healed without hint of a scar. For that, the Scout was thankful—it was one less blemish he had to hide. As far as the others’ knowledge, they either forgot about his abduction or simply did not bother to upset the boy with questions they had been dying to ask.

And, he was in no hurry to answer to anyone, mostly keeping himself tucked away in the Sniper’s camper van in its camouflaged state during the hot days and joining the hunter in the evening for training or distractions of the flesh—sometimes the former would lead to the latter. But, the Scout spent most of his free time setting out what was necessary of him: training under the watchful eye of the Sniper or running about the base with the new Soldier barking at his heels—‘Run faster! I do not see sweat pooling from your face!’—thankfully, never being bothered about the day he saw the boy’s scar-ridden torso. It was all back to work, and the Boston lad was more than ready to return to his deranged sense of normality in the life of a mercenary.

The day would finally arrive when the Administrator boomed over the loudspeaker one warm morning, announcing a new job to be done that very day. The BLU base was in a frenzy of excited whoops and yells, the adrenaline overflowing as each mercenary took to his weapon. No one had made attempts on experimenting on the Engineer’s respawn system, but spirits were high that his expertise would not fail them—it never did.

The group gathered in their readying position at the gates, the war cries still echoing throughout the war zone. The Sniper would instantly find his partner and pull him to the side away from the others.

“This is it,” he murmured, giving a tight squeeze on the boy’s shoulder, which was tense though his eyes looked directly into the bushman’s with an air of readiness and certainty.

“I know,” was the Scout’s answer once he sucked in a hefty amount of air and exhaled it in a long sigh, his own grip on his scattergun harsh but steady. “I’ve been waitin’ a long time for this, man.”

The Sniper nodded—of course he had. Everyone had been preparing for this day regardless of the meaning between the Scout and Sniper’s reasons. To them, it was just another mindless day of petty killing for some piece of shit land, but to the pair, it was a day of revenge. There still would be no explanations regarding the RED Spy and his intentions, but at this point, it no longer mattered. He would be meeting his end soon, respawn be damned, though it was odd that the Frenchman made no further attacks nor caused any sort of alarm. If he had been planning something, he took the downtime to plot some elaborate plan, and the hunter kept that in-mind, relating his inner thoughts to the younger male.

He finally released the Scout’s shoulder and hoisted his gun, giving another nod of understanding seen by no one but his lover whether their teammates were too riled up to care or pretended not to see them.

Finally, the Announcer’s voice rose once more as she began a countdown. At the chime of ‘one’, the gates opened and the entire BLU team rushed onto the field under heavy rain of bullets. They needed no explanation as to what their goal would be—right outside the gates stood a large explosive in a shoddy little wagon, its wheels already attached to a predetermined set of rails.

‘Same ol’ shit,’ someone would say if he had not been dodging enemy attacks.

The Scout was first to reach the cart, and he shrank down on his haunches, turning against the bomb so that his shoulder pushed it along as his teammates gathered about to help or back him up, though a usually-docile Heavy became war-hungry and separated with the Medic in-tow to push through enemy lines—though bearing no stealth with his booming voice heard above the other sounds of battle. The Sniper had already disappeared, moving to a high cliff to start killing off RED mercenaries—and to keep an eye on the Bostonian without his knowledge. He knew it would anger the boy to be doted on, but the hunter also knew very well the Scout would leap without thinking and needed the protection more than ever.

And, he would prove true to his nature as he abandoned the cart to rush ahead and intercept enemies through the tunnel. A blast here and there brought a RED Engineer to his knees before sending a bullet through his skull and the Scout had to roll to the side quickly to avoid gunfire from a nearby sentry, though he gave an angry yelp as a bullet brazed off his shoulder, a splash of his own blood painting a nearby rock formation in speckles. The boy ducked behind a smaller rock and scrutinized the wound. There was very little damage, but the flesh and muscle burned regardless. He would not be stopped so easily, and was back on his feet and running, never minding the bloodstain he left behind dissolving into nothingness in a matter of seconds as did any droplets that fell to the ground below. His teammates pressed on without noticing as well, and the cart moved towards a check point, signaled by the Administrator's voice booming across the battlefield—why she let the enemy know their movement was beyond their understanding, but the job had to be done, even if a horde of RED mercenaries came bustling over the rusty tracks almost immediately. Many fell, but they would be back in moments as the BLU team rained hellfire on them without prejudice.

The Scout, in the meantime, rushed ahead, leaping over a hapless RED Soldier and landing in a roll—that led directly into the path of another, better-positioned sentry. It was too late; he felt the stings of the rounds going off and sunk to his knees as his body was blasted into, filling him with holes and taking off chunks of flesh. The boy fell to the side, his eyes wide and his mouth agape. And, despite the cheering of the avenged RED Engineer and the nonstop gunfire, only one voice rang out above all the rest.

The Sniper was yelling with surprise and anger and was already abandoning his spot to take off sprinting across the field. He sent an arrow through an enemy Medic's throat, allowing his team to take down the RED Heavy, but his own Heavy clamped down on his shoulder with a meaty hand, halting the hunter where he stood.

“Sentry. Is dangerous. I am sorry.”

The bushman grit his teeth and slumped his shoulders despite the war going on around them. He slapped at the Russian's hand and scowled. “Sorry ain't gonna cut it this time,” he spoke with acid, but his eyes dared to move to the corpse of his lover—only to find it was no longer where it had laid previously, nor were there any bloodstains. There was only bullets scattered along where the Scout had been.

“It worked...it bloody worked!” the Sniper yelled as he took off running in the opposite direction, back to his base despite the sounds of protest from his comrades. His team made attempts to watch on hesitantly for signs of the Scout's mortality as the BLU Demoman pumped sticky bombs in the direction of the sentry, and everyone whooped as it exploded in a series of sharp fragments and broken parts, followed by the cursing of the enemy Engineer as he retreated to perhaps build again.

Meanwhile, the hunter made a mad dash into the BLU base, nearly breaking his shoulder on the doorway, staggering inside and running to the large room in the back. Then, his eyes were saucers; there before the elder man was his Scout, standing and looking equally confused. Shaky hands reached and grabbed the boy's face, his golden eyes staring into Eton blue, tears threatening to fall. The Scout could only grin in response and give a hearty laugh as he inspected his shoulder, which no longer stung nor held a gaping wound. His shirt was intact as well, somehow.

I'm alive.

“Yeah,” the dumbfounded Sniper murmured as he released the boy's face. He would have loved nothing more than to engulf the smaller body in a giant hug, never releasing him to go to war again. Rather, he was cautious still and smacked the Bostonian against the side of his head. “But, don't get a big head. You could have died. I saw you die enough for one lifetime.”

“But, I didn't, and I didn't need savin' this time either,” the Bostonian smirked as he rubbed the spot of infliction, “It only hurts for a moment, but then it all goes away and I'm here again. Dell's a fuckin' genius.”

The Scout moved past the Sniper's side. He turned to follow with his eyes.

“Where are you goin' now? You just died. You need a moment or somethin'? Need a plan or you're gonna just keep getting' blasted t'bits.”

“Nah, I got this. Playtime's ova', Munds. I'm gonna get that damned Spy before the day's done now that I got an upper hand. Ya welcome ta help, but ya ain't gonna stop me no matter what.”

“Just be careful, please.”

The boy turned to face the hunter with a wry smile. “Can't make any promises but I'd rather come back to ya in one piece.” He leaned into the bushman's face and planted a long kiss between lips which was abruptly interrupted by a clearing of a throat. Both heads turned to see the Engineer standing in the doorway.

“Don' mean ta interrupt, but there's a war out there,” he said with a blush to his cheeks, thus signaling that he knew there was more going on than shown though he tried to hide it by tinkering with a miniature sentry gun. His cheeks would redden further at the Scout's words as he ran over and clamped his bandaged hands on the husky man's shoulders.

“Dell, you're tha best. Don't ever let no one tell ya otherwise.”

And, with that, the runner was out the door and back in the game.

The Sniper equally cleared his throat as the two me stood in the deafening silence heightened only by the rain of bullets and bombs in the distance. The Engineer moved to the opposite side of the door and affectionately placed a teleporter entrance on the ground and began working with it. The Australian approached the Texan and rubbed the back of his own head.

“Listen, we were gonna tell everyone, but--”

“I didn't see anythin',” Dell spoke bluntly with a stern smile about his face, his wrench pointing to the active teleporter emitting a blue glow and humming.

“...Thanks, mate,” the taller man nodded as he took his weapon and moved onto the teleporter and suddenly appeared in a small nook near the bomb cart. A dispenser was strategically placed close enough to allow him to grab a few supplies before moving to find a new ledge to perch on.

Further ahead, the team did their best to keep the RED mercenaries at bay while a few chose to stay behind to push their objective along, the Scout doing most of the killing as he stood near the enemy spawn and took pot-shots at those men emerging from behind the automated door. He cursed each time a body hit the ground that was not the Spy. Where the hell was that snake? Finally, the RED Heavy appeared, glowing bright red with a Medic close behind. The runner had to make a quick break for it to avoid a second death, jumping up a set of metal stairs to hide in an overhead building. Through the broken glass, he watched his Russian foe plow over his comrades with a barrage of expensive-to-fire bullets. His breath hitched, but he knew they would be fine, just as he had been. They just would not have a support group in the form of a lover waiting on them back at their spawn. The Scout had to suppress a goofy grin.

'Ding!'

The Scout looked beyond the Heavy/Medic pair. The BLU Pyro managed to airblast the duo away long enough to push the cart over a point bathed in red, suddenly changing it to a blue hue. The Announcer boomed over the speakers to congratulate the BLU team and giving them additional time to meet their goal. Same old shit.

He began to take off towards the RED base again, but a familiar scent invaded his nostrils, and the boy froze where he stood, fingers clutching his weapon as eyes darted around. Cigarette smoke. The RED Spy was nearby. He felt his heart leap in his throat and his knees gave a wobble, but he held his ground.

“C'mon out, ya rat bastard! I'm gonna settle the score with ya right here an' now!”

He wished his voice sounded more confident than he felt suddenly and now, he wished the Sniper had stayed close—or any of his teammates for that matter. But, there was a war going on behind him.

“Oh, mon petit, 'ow I 'ave missed you.”

The Scout jerked around towards the Spy's voice, sending a blast of his scattergun to the nearby corner, leaving crude holes in the wood. He grit his teeth, already feeling the day's work and his own fear forming salty liquid against his temples and run down the sides of his face. His eyes scanned the area and he slowly backed himself into the corner to cut off any attempts of a backstab.

There was a chuckle, and the Scout forced back a desperate sob so that he yelled in anger instead. “Asshole! Quit fuckin' around already!”

The laugh persisted, but the boy could not identify the location. It was as if the other man was dancing about the small building, the smell of smoke becoming stronger with no ventilation, which brought tears to his eyes and blurred his vision.

“I was 'oping your dear lover would be here to witness this.”

“Witness what? You've already had your fun and done your worst!” The Scout could not help but give a hoarse laugh himself. “Ya didn't know? We're immortal, too, shitlord.”

The silence gave way of the Spy's hesitance, but the Bostonian's victory with words was short-lived. His next words turned the boy's sweat to ice.

“I know this. Who do you think planted the briefcase where even the most dumb of the lot of you could find it?”

“No,” the Scout whispered, “Mun—our Sniper risked his life to find that!”

“And, the alarms never sounded? Hmmm, I wonder why?”

The boy began to sweat bullets now as his eyes squinted against the smoke. His back brushed up against the mutilated wall. “No, that ain't right. You wouldn't. Why would you give us that kinda information?”

Suddenly, a gloved hand was at his throat and his weapon dropped as he raked bandaged hands over the offending fingers. The Spy came into view, a twisted grin about his face.

“Ah-ah-ah, we can't reveal all our secrets at once,” the RED snake chimed, his fingers enclosing on the smaller male's throat, “Now, be a good boy and call for your Mundy.”

Despite his struggles, the Scout shook his head and strained to speak. “You can't kill us. Go on; I'll just come right back again.”

There was another harsh laugh from the elder male as he exhaled smoke into the other's face. “Did I not tell you I planned for this?” His voice deepened and his smile dropped, “Call your fucking Sniper or you'll wish you 'aden't.”

“Fuck you,” the Scout croaked, wishing he had the ability to spit on the Frenchman's face. He eye-balled his weapon at his feet. Maybe if he could just kick--

Suddenly, there was a knee grinding against the wall between his thighs and he gave a small cry.

“Silly boy. Do I 'ave to fuck you again before you'll listen?” His demeanor was as icy as was Hell after it froze over.

Shut up!” the Scout roared, though the tears already spilled down reddened cheeks.

“Oh, but you liked it, did you not? I recall someone coming very, very--” he leaned against the boy's body, his lips hot and acidic against a tender ear, “--very hard.”

The youth clenched his eyes shut and could do nothing to hide the sob as his legs bent and he slid to the floor, the Spy releasing his throat and kicking his scattergun across the room. He paused long enough to snub out his cigarette on the wall and then flick it away before kneeling before the boy.

“Well? I do not hear you yelling. Go on, let him hear you, Matt.”

The Scout's eyes opened again and bulged as he dared to look into the serpentine expression of his greatest foe. How did he know? He barely registered the second chime and Announcer's voice as his team pressed on and knew the Sniper would have to be approaching, whether he wanted to be saved again or not. At this point, he wished for death, but still, his voice croaked as he wailed for his lover above the sound of hellfire and brimstone behind him, trying to find somewhere in his mind to collapse into to keep from feeling those harsh, gloved fingers tracing into his scarred flesh beneath his shirt.