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Chapter Text

I am the Lord of loneliness

I'll hold my breath
Just spoke with death
He said he hopes for the best
Told him I'm ropin' my neck
Then I woke up chokin' from the hole in my chest
Somehow I manage to function and hope
Every day got a lump in my throat
That's them pills swallowed whole
Smoke a blunt and then fuck all these hoes
End up humpin' they throat
Get the fuck away from me
I hate all of you, faithfully
This world was never made for me
Thankfully I’m trained to see
Past all the lies and righteous sins
I'll shank my knees then walk the plank and freeze

⸺ "Antarctica"  By $uicideboy$

 

They were two clans of nutcases fighting a never-ending war like an eight-to-five job. Really, they all just call it the “job”. The Gravel War wasn’t exactly a war. The violence, the blood, these things did not make it a war. A war is a machine that runs on a fuel of human lives. You live through each day with prayers upon prayers, praying so that you won’t die, praying so that you won’t end up with the same fate that your buddy Johnny did, who’d lifted his head up at the most unfortunate time in a crossfire. His face sometimes would still resurface when you sat awake at night, drenched with cold sweat and choked by a silent scream. His face morphs and changes every single time you dream of him; his left eye was missing along with a chunk of his head, his jaw detached and he looked so blurry because it was not just your mate, it was the face of war.

In a war, deaths were impactful and permanent. When the greenies loaded good ol’ little Johnny in a bodybag, your head swam a bit as your vision focused on one particular detail about the corpse at a time. How the skin peels back on his neck or how his left elbow had a bit of white that glistened under the sunlight. It was all very real, the adrenaline rush clenched your whole being like a fist around your throat. You had pity for the dead, sure, but that feeling was overridden by this feeling of giddiness, that you somehow survived this spectacular catastrophe called war until this day. The deaths of others made you feel alive; hell, it’d probably make you feel self conscious about the fact that you’re alive: the smell of the earth and its flora, the sound of the remnant of a July thunderstorm, the bad sore on the ball of your left foot— even the blueness of the sky made you feel grateful to be alive, grateful to be out there and breathing instead of rotting in a sack and missing an eye.

There’s no dignity in death. No heroic stories, no legendary escapades, just a forgotten name that goes along with an equally forgotten face.

The “war” that they were having was an insult to the concept of war itself. The war doesn’t have a schedule. The war doesn’t have a respawn. The war doesn’t have rules. The war doesn’t have time limits. The war doesn’t have little health packs that regenerates every ten seconds. The war comes at you real fast and chips away at your soul real fast. Even the best men in war lived every day in uncertainty, hoping that they won’t be the one in the bag tomorrow.

What the mercenaries had was merely the empty shell of a war, a mockery to the name of war. It had the bloodshed but it lacked a purpose. Deaths were deprived of its meaning and simplified to numbers on a scoreboard, the amount of congratulations from teammates or the new toys given by the Administrator. Staying alive wasn’t even a top priority for them; it was to deliver a briefcase full of blank paper or to push a bomb to the other end of their little playground because they knew that if they die, they can walk out of the respawn door alive and well after five minutes.

It made no difference to kill if it made no difference to die.

Compared to his fanatic teammates, the RED Sniper was a reserved person. Didn’t need to talk, so he didn’t talk much. Most of his free time was spent on reading some paperback novels he’d pick up in his supply crates or cleaning and sharpening his weapons. On weekends he would go around the parameter of the base to hunt for wildlives or collect edible plants. He lived a simple life with all this war business going on around here. He goes out, shoots people and hits the sack.

That was, until two years ago, a certain man clad in a BLU-issued three-piece suit laid bleeding out in his nest.

Chapter Text

It was a sweltering afternoon, a tie-breaking round. He propped his beloved rifle on top of an empty wooden crate, looking down at those pretty little BLU heads from somewhere far and above, making them pop so the numbers go up on that godforsaken scoreboard.

The air was practically burning and Spy’s suit jacket now seemed to be made of lead, weighing down on his arms and his chest. He can feel his sweat-soaked dress shirt adhering to his skin, but Sniper seemed unfazed by the blazing afternoon heat that was baking him alive; his tan skin glistened with sweat but his aim never faltered, the rifle’s kickback rocked his gangly body backwards with a deafening bang.

There goes the BLU Heavy. This would certainly stall their team’s progress quite a bit, but Spy was patient; he snuck up the flight of stairs that led to the Sniper’s nest and regrettably smothered the Sobranie Black on the floorboard, fearing that the trace of cigarette smoke would able to reach to his target before he did. It seemed to him a familiar and reassuring scenario; he had already gotten enough kills to go by for the day and now he may do his usual “observations” in peace without any form of disturbance.

He refused to call it an obsession, even in his disease-ridden mind. This has been going on for almost a month, now, ever since the death of the enemy Scout’s mother, Alice; he’d been just watching the Sniper instead of killing him. It started as a clever act aimed to get to know his enemy’s weaknesses, but all he did was creating a new weakness of his own. The man, formerly seen as uneducated, vulgar and filthy, now possessed almost a strange sort of beauty to himself. It has been more and more difficult to finish the man off than to just stay in the moment and watch him, how his muscles rippled under his sun-tanned skin to counter a recoil, how he whispered sweet nothings to his victims in a low, guttural murmur that made Spy’s skin prickle in a peculiar way.

More often than not the man does catch him in the middle of his act but has suspected nothing more than “some shady Spy business” that he usually commits on Sniper’s teammates. What scared Spy was not the bushman’s murderous intent whenever he was caught, but how much he was relishing in the brief contact that was almost intimate before the brutal edge of his kukri cut through fabric and skin with one swift thrust that hurted so much but if it were him , he relishes in all of it: the acrid yet intriguing smell of coffee and cheap cigarettes with a dash of gunpowder and earth, his lean, muscular arms that encircled him before reaching and twisting Spy’s own brutally, his slate-blue eyes that shimmered a uncanny light when he snarled at him some insults that Spy was yet to understand.

Ah, his eyes. Those eyes were the merciless eyes of an assassin that seemed to be lined with shards of azure glass around the rims, inside a turbulent storm of calculated coldness and barely-contained wrath threatened to break out and swallow him whole. They seemed to draw him in and in, down an endless cycle of longing, pain and bloodshed, everyday he would promise himself to not come back for him and everyday he stood there, just behind the corner at which his beauty perched upon with a rifle, peering down at the world while Spy peered at him.

He closed his eyes and slowly unraveled the wispy white material, making shiny, new additions to his sinful collection of incisions that he hid under layers of bandages and shame. The air itself was on fire, the pain, the pleasure, it was all too much for him to handle. He felt giddy and lightheaded as he knelt on the steps of the stairs and squeezed his handles, suppressing his desires with all his might.

He needed to stay conscious. He needed to kill him. This has to stop. But Spy bit his lip and swallowed a whimper as he straightened his back and stepped up, merely a few feet from his Sniper, the tip of the balisong dug deeper into his skin.

Mumbling something about the “gravy-bleedin’ fatso”, Sniper was getting comfortable where he was. Hell, Spy could smell him. What used to be the acrid stench of bad cigs, black coffee and sweat to Spy was now a fragrant aroma ten times grander than the soft, tender scent of Alice’s L’Interdit (1) . With a barely contained gasp, the blade slid upwards and hit the side of his Cloak and Dagger, which made a terrible noise before it started betraying Spy’s presence. He only had the time to hastily wrap up his shame before the marksman swung around with his wooden kukri, baring his teeth with a mean snarl.

What surprised him was that the BLU Spy chose to break the silence first before he got the chance to say anything.

Panting. He was panting. How very unprofessional of him. Sniper lowered his shiv to take a better look at this pathetic display— his nemesis, bracing himself with his left hand on the wall, his right clenching the plain black handle of his butterfly knife, gasping like a stranded fish.

“G’day there, ya lil sook. ‘Ow ya doin’, gettin’ a bit too hot there?” Sniper sneered, tossing his knife from his left hand to his right and closed their distance with three great strides.

Damn these Australians and their baked Outback. Their scarce brain cells probably already evaporated under the blazing sun.

Spy did all he could to stop himself from shaking like a leaf in the wind. He was getting closer. “Fuck off.” Spy spat and made a notable effort of raising his knife in a hopefully menacing manner, but he lost grip and the weapon dropped to the floor with a dull clang. He couldn’t summon enough strength to stand upright, and escaping unscathed seemed a foolish dream at his current state. The world spinned around him, overwhelming him with its brightness and sultriness as his vision began to tunnel; the floor under him felt soft and wobbly as he struggled to straighten his back, throwing him off his feet and soon he began to lose balance.

Useless. Worthless. Futile. Weak. He slumped against the wall and let himself slide freely, downwards until he sat on the dusty floor. Lazily watching the sunlight jumping off from his abandoned blade to the polished point of his shoe, he evaded the scrutinizing eyes of his enemy, waited for the RED Sniper to finish him off while the last bit of consciousness also slipped away from his grip before he knew it.

Well, that was… Disappointingly anticlimactic. Sniper prodded the side of Spy’s body with the point of his knife and received no angry exclamations of any sort; the fancy wuss was having a heat stroke. The skin was flushed a deep color of red where the azure mask did not cover, the fabric of which was decorated with patches of sweat.

He would not be claimed by respawn any time soon if Sniper left him as is; in fact, he may die slowly and miserably, possibly missing most of the day. In fact, Sniper should just leave him here to his fate, be it his teammates or enemies he will wound up in respawn nonetheless.

He dragged the immobile body to the far corner of the room, away from the vicinity of the sunny spot that their friendly conversation took place. Hesitantly he worked his way down the ivory buttons of Spy’s suit jacket, tugging at the ends of the sleeves gently as if it may disturb the frenchman’s slumber. As the man’s lifeless left arm fell out of its sleeve, he noticed something unusual about his forearm. It was a tad strange to the touch and differed from his right; he felt around Spy’s wrist to find that there were bandages wrapped about his arm under the wet fabric, from which the red was already seeping through.

Bandage was a strange sight to him after spending so much time getting used to the mechanics of their matches. What is the use of bandages when first-aid kits can be found throughout the map? His brows furrowed as he gently undid the sapphire cufflink and dropping it into his chest pocket for safekeeping. The intricate patterns that adorned the gemstone looked unnecessarily opulent for a battlefield, so maybe Spy would like it back once he recovers. He pulled off the leather glove with a few tug at the fingers. Gingerly he rolled up the silken sleeve and unraveled the thin, stained fabric, revealing a bloody mess on the inside of the pale, delicate wrist.

Dipping Spy’s handkerchief in the canteen that he’d brought with him that day, he wiped away the half-dried blood from the fragile skin. On his wrists there were more than a dozen lacerations that were still fresh, from some of which there was still blood oozing out of. There was something odd about these wounds, how they are all about the same length and depth, how they looked so… deliberate.

There was one that ran vertically upwards, at which the knife had completely broke through the skin and blood was rapidly draining. Without even a moment of hesitation, Sniper pulled off his RED-issued uniform and tore it to several ragged strips with the help of Spy’s balisong. This would have to serve as a new set of bandages. He wrapped a strand of the red fabric through the gap between Spy’s thumb and index finger and around his wrist. He tied the ends of the fabric into a tourniquet and noticed a set of oddly shaped scars, hidden just beneath the rolled-up sleeve.

These were at least two days old, Sniper absently noted as he jerked the sleeve upwards, revealing the entirety of it. It was a grotesque, crooked inscription of two letters, RM .

Sniper knew. He closed the knife carefully and set it aside, took notice of the fresh blood that glinted a metallic red at its lethal tip. He averted his gaze to Spy’s head instead, trying to summon even a bit of hate for the sly assassin from the sight of his enemy’s face, but he was unable to do so. He stripped the sweaty balaclava off from Spy’s head with little ceremony; after all, what does a man make use of a secret identity when he can freely disguise as anyone else? Under the mask it was nothing jaw-dropping, no embarrassing facial tattoos or jagged scars that ran across his face, not anything that was unique enough that can be used to single him out in a crowd of strangers, yet Spy was paranoid whenever he got too close, whenever he threatened verbally to yank it off. Besides the curved tanlines that Spy has gotten from wearing his mask for extended periods of time under the harsh desert sun, he was certainly a good-looking fellow, a lady-killer, perhaps, in his more youthful years.

He turned away, hurried off to fetch a first-aid package from downstairs. When he scrambled back up the stairs, his patient disappeared without a trace but a telltale crimson stain seeping into the wooden floorboards, on top of which laid his abandoned knife that too disappeared after a few moments.

Ah, so his patient chose the rather… Extreme way of escape. Sniper dropped the kit next to his thermos and ran his bare hand over the stock of his rifle. The polished wooden surface was smooth and warm to the touch, perhaps from sitting in the sun for too long. BLU Spy or not, he had still a handful heads to blow; he was a professional after all.

Professional, he said.

Then why did the brute, jagged letters of his initials still swam in his vision whenever he closed his eyes, even when he dreamed?

Chapter Text

To a Sniper, the most important of his six senses was his vision. So it’s understandable that he couldn’t help but to panic a bit when it was taken away from him, a strand of silky material wound tightly around his head and his appendages were fixated onto what felt like a chair.

It was no ordinary chair either; it was a much more luxurious experience than our usual kidnapping shenanigans, with a plush seat and back for his comforts, the armrests which his hands were tied to were padded. He wiggled his body but to no avail; his bonds dug into his arms and it wouldn’t give, even the godforsaken armchair was too heavy to tip over. He sighed and slumped back into the uncomfortably soft chair, hoping that his captor would get bored and dispose of him soon so he may catch up to his team for dinner.

“Hello?” He called out experimentally to the impenetrable darkness, expecting a response of sorts. There was none, not a single noise stirred after his shout but the distant yelling of the BLU Scout and Pyro, cooking up a havoc at what he assumed the other side of the base. Great. He might have to go with his cured deer meat and Soldier’s canned “American Sardine”, all patriotic with no communist additives.

He heard the doorknob turn, with which a faint hint of light struck through his blinds but he was brutally deprived of it with a soft click of the lock. Tick, tick, tick, tick. He was facing the door and his captor advanced closer and closer to him, but he stubbornly sat as upright as he could manage.

“Yer a wuss, y’know that?” He hissed, tugging at his bonds with a ferocious force, “Wait til I get outta here, I—“

“What would you do?” The airy French accent in his captor’s voice was prominent, leaving no mystery to Sniper of his identity, “Kill me?”

“Bloody fuckin’ oath, ya fruit loop. Gut’cha like the shonky wanker you are.” Sniper’s reply sour and caustic, but it did little to infuriate the BLU. The latter replied with a bitter chuckle, an amused acknowledgement of their mutual hatred.

He braced himself, unconsciously tensed and closed his eyes despite the blindfold. He expected a punch, a gunshot, anything remotely painful as a retaliation for his words, but an ungloved hand was presently stroke his cheek, tentative and light like a soft caress that a mother would give to her newborn, sickeningly affectionate.

“Get ya bleedin’ hands off me bloody face!” He struck his chin forth, snapped his jaw together on no flesh but air—Spy had retrieved his fingers fast enough, and chose to slid it down and under the hem of his uniform.

He thrashed about in his bonds and roared, “Just— Fucking— Kill me! Ya bloody freak ! ”

The hand halted.

“Is that so?” His voice lost the sibilance it had just a moment ago, sounding strangely brittle.

Sniper fumed, a furious chain of insults were caught in his throat, clogged by his inability to formulate his anger and fear in a coherent manner.

“I intended nothing of that nature, bushman. S’il vous plaît . This will end soon.” Spy’s raspy whisper was almost inaudible, desperation leaking out of his façade of confidence. “My apologies.”

Though intended as a reassurance of sorts, the apology aggravated the Sniper even further, a strong sense of foreboding loomed atop of his consciousness suffocated him. He dug his dull fingernails deep inside the palms of his hands; he could be kept here for hours, days even, nothing but his twisted archenemy’s toy.

A hand, then another. They were placed on top of his shoulders. In the dark he could still feel Spy’s heat closing up to his, a knee thrust in between his thighs as to support his captor’s body. A wave of nausea hit him as hard as a blow to his head, RM resurfaced under his obscured vision.

This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening

He froze as an innocent kiss landed on his cheek, delicate like the flutter of a viceroy butterfly, swirling up a warm midsummer night breeze.

With a low grunt, Spy sat with his legs around Sniper, the slender body weighed down on his thighs, pressing him further into the armchair. Instead of more intrusive touches, Spy’s arms simply encircled around him, squeezed him in a tight, desperate embrace. The wreck of a man was quivering, bits of wetness began to form at where Sniper’s neck and shoulder connected.

“Spy…”

He was silent, as if he didn’t hear Sniper at all, drawing in a few more longing lungful of air in a hopeless attempt on ingraining the scent of the man in his memory.

“You coulda told me if that’s all you wanted.”Sniper offered softly, “I woulda let ya do it.”

Spy froze and clung tighter to Sniper like it was a lifeline that he was clutching in his hands, finally letting go of all his sorrow and broke down right there and then. He spoke, but in a muffled language that was incomprehensible to his captive while quiet sobs rattled in his chest and rocked his body in frantic spasms. For the first time, the arrogant, snotty backstabber that he used to know was weeping on his lap like a child.

“Shhh, roo. It’s a’ight. It’s a’ight.” Sniper didn’t know what to say, but Spy’s abnormal behaviors were unsettling to him. “You can have me if that’s gonna make it any better.”

Spy straightened himself, his body felt tense against Sniper’s chest.

“May I?” He rasped breathlessly with a thin air of disbelief.

Sniper let out a throaty laugh. “Oath. I’m the one tied to a bloody chair here, mate. I’m all yours.”

All yours. Spy shook uncontrollably and furrowed his face in Sniper’s broad chest, his hands traveled over the continent of Sniper’s body, blindly groping and tracing the carved muscles and committing every subtle groove of a scar to his memory. He mashed their groin together with such hunger and eagerness it made Sniper shudder with excitement, his head fogged with desire.

He drank in the wanting mewls that made Spy’s chest vibrate against his; he wanted to see Spy completely undone in his embrace, rutting against his cock like a dog in heat. He wanted to use his hands, to touch, to grasp, to feel him. He wanted to take a firm grip on Spy’s dainty waist and plunge deep into him, to splay his hands over Spy’s round cheeks, to thrust in and out of his heavenly tight hole and to make him plead for more.

But Spy didn’t want to be touched, no, he didn’t want to be seen either. He knew that he was at his weakest state, maskless and miserable and hopelessly infatuated with the enemy Sniper. He was delirious and frightened at the same time, couldn’t believe that his luck would stretch this far, couldn’t imagine that it was Sniper under him, straining against his bonds to rub their erections together. His fingers traced the stubbles on Sniper’s chin, the tan skin under the pad of his thumb now flushed a dark red.

His. His. Spy was ecstatic; he bit back a moan as he ground his crotch against Sniper’s as hard and as fast as he could manage, but it was not enough. The layers of fabric between them were unnecessarily bothersome, he needs more. More heat, more friction, more skin. He wanted to use his lips to worship every inch of him, he wanted to cut Sniper open and live inside of his body, he wanted to stay in the perfect moment of intimacy for perpetuity because it felt good, too good to the point that Spy wanted to keep his captive here forever just to breathe the same air that circulated in Sniper’s lungs.

Sniper felt Spy slid down soundlessly between his legs, a light tug at his zipper accompanied by the silent hiss of his fly filled him with equal shares of embarrassment and arousal— He wasn’t wearing any underwear. Sniper can feel Spy’s hot breath fan gently over his erection, he tentatively wrapped his finger around Sniper’s cock and gave it an experimental squeeze.

Sniper’s breath hitched, what is he doing ?

Without any warning, his cock was engulfed in a velvety, hot mouth that fervently sucked away at the delicacy. Spy lathered the length with his spit and forced himself down on the thick, hot length until its head was against his throat while undoing his own fly with his other hand. He luxuriated in the texture and taste of cock in his mouth, bobbing his head at a deliberately slow pace and hungrily lapping up the precome with the tip of his tongue.

“Mmmm yer cock-suckin’ lil slut,”Sniper growled, his accent thick with arousal while he bucked against Spy’s mouth as hard as his restraints allowed him to, “Why don’tcha let free one of them hands so I can fuck your whore mouth proper?”

With a mouthful of cock, Spy whined and Sniper nearly came from the vibration of his throat. His cock stayed in Spy’s mouth, but he felt a light jerk at his wrist before he realized that his right arm was now free, the sensation of pins and needles faded as he curled and uncurled his fingers. He could do a lot of things now with his unrestrained dominant hand; he could get a good estimate of where Spy’s neck can be and…

Before he finished that particular thought, his hand acquired a mind of its own and automatically reached for Spy’s head instead, finding himself with a handful of silky locks.

So full . Spy’s nose was pressed against his pelvis, his lips stretched around the base, the whole length of which was now deeply buried in his mouth and his throat. His blunt nails dug into Sniper’s thighs as the hand clenched around a fistful of hair, dragging him up and down and slamming the entirety of his cock into his throat at each thrust, leaving Spy with very little opportunity to breathe. Spy gagged and choked with each intrusion, Sniper’s balls slapped against his chin and his stomach threatened to rise with every piston-like thrust. He gave up on suction and simply tried to keep mouth open and his throat loose to accommodate the brutal pace as Sniper fucked his mouth, slamming him down at the end of every broken breath.

A brief retreat and a low, guttural grunt was the only warning Spy got before Sniper emptied his load in Spy’s mouth, few hot spurts of semen landed onto his tongue, forcing him to taste it before swallowing it all. Spy convulsed with a quiet whimper before he came on the floor before him, releasing the head of Sniper’s softening member with a soft, wet pop.

Still bathed in the warm glow of a wonderful orgasm, Sniper faintly heard a loud, wooden crack and a faint, yellow light filled his blindfolded eyes again.

“Spy? Spy you in here? We’ve been—” A Bostonian voice came to a halt with a sharp inhale of air, “ OhmyfuckingGod wHAT THE FUCK—

 

Thud, BLU Pyro’s fire axe met the floor with a dull clatter.

 

Clang, the cylinder swang into its place.

 

Click-cluck, the hammer cocked.

 

Boom, the trigger pulled.

 

The white tiles of the RED respawn room pierced through his eyelids, washing away any afterimages of intimacy.

Chapter Text

It was just a fairly ordinary day, 21 degrees Celsius and fortunately sunny after a whole night of downpour. The air still emanated a redolence of rain and earth, an all-natural aromatherapy that calmed Sniper’s knotted nerves from yesterday’s events. The march has just started and Sniper situated himself in his usual sniping spot, pouring himself a freshly brewed cup of black coffee.

After barely any time at all, the BLU Spy made himself a spectacular entrance into Sniper’s nest with little ceremony. He waltzed in without any cloak or any attempt in making himself all sneaky and spy-like and God did he look awful. His left eye was surrounded by a nasty purple bruise and several lacerations decorated the side of his cheeks, his nose looked sort of swollen and crooked. His suit was terribly wrinkled and a few waft of greying hair stuck out of his mask as opposed to the dapper look that Spies usually go for. On top of that, he had a few freshly picked wild daisies tucked in the front of his stained suit, the white petals still wet from last night’s rain.

Spy noticed his glaring. “Not my finest day, monsieur .”

Sniper stammered, “Who—”

He was swiftly interrupted by a dismissive wave of a gloved hand. “Scout did make it a world-renowned discovery. Let’s say that they had… Quite a bit of fun with me .”

“Oh.” He snapped his jaw shut, “How’d ya get here?”

“Our Medic fell asleep when it was his turn to guard me, so I may come and say farewell.” Spy said as if it were matter-of-fact.

“What—”

The Administrator’s voice echoed throughout the battlements before Sniper had the chance to complete his sentence.

“TRUCE! The round is paused due to technical issues. No members on either team may attack during the truce.”

Technical issue?

His weapons disappeared without a sound, but the BLU took out a knife that he had never seen before, a knife that glinted menacingly in his leather-gloved hands. It was unfamiliar to him, certainly not a Mann Co. issued weapon. A contraband.

The knife seemed more exorbitant than the company’s standard spy weapons, which were already unnecessarily fancy in Sniper’s professional opinion. He flipped the balisong open like he had been doing it all his life and the two meticulously engraved silver handles met with a cold, metallic clang .

The corners of Sniper’s lips tightened, his expression inscrutable under the brim of his hat. He should’ve never expected the enemy spy to play it fair. He braced himself for the sly Frenchman to pounce. Does Spy plan on finishing him this time for good? Was he ordered by his team to take him out? He might be a slick little bastard in battles, but Sniper himself was very able in hand-to-hand combat and he’d make sure he go all-out on this bloody bogan if he came to wipe the evidence of his regrets.

Or in this case, hand-to-knife.

The expected homicide attempt did not come at all. The ex-BLU Spy backed up to the wall behind him with uneven, staggering steps and simply looked at him, his abused face looked vaguely unfamiliar in absence of his usual sneer and swagger.

“Monsieur Sniper… Stay exactly where you are.” He spoke in a hurried whisper as he took off his gloves and placed it alongside with his knife on another crate, seemed as if choked by his own words, “This is not a trick.” His pale fingers plucked the white daisies from his left lapel-buttonhole and laid it carefully atop the dark leather of his gloves and began to undo the buttons of his jacket.

Sniper couldn’t move even if he wanted to, his legs were immobile as if they were bolted to the wooden floor, his eyes widened in shock behind his tinted lens as the man shedded his jacket and waistcoat and neatly folded them alongside his other items, his half-unbuttoned dress shirt revealing belt marks and couple long, neat lacerations and more prominently, a red X on his upper abdomen.

Sniper began to speak, “What the bloody hell…?”

Within a blink, the engraved handles of his balisong were sticking out from precisely where the mark was. Sniper watched in muted horror as round droplets of blood started oozing out of the wound, but the BLU Spy acted like nothing had happened and simply sighed while he buttoned up his shirt around the handles.

All it took was three long strides for Sniper to get next to the bleeding man who now rested against the wall, whose pallid complexion was littered with sweat as he shakily lit a cigarette.

“If docteur was right on this, I would be dead within five minutes, just within the window of opportunity.” The older man sounded like he was discussing about the weather.

Sniper’s throat tightened, his mouth incredibly dry and it felt like his tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth. “Why’d ya gone and do that?” He rasped, “You, you can’t… I oughta get help!”

“I have been alive in this war game… For a very long time.”

“It’s barely a tick since you shot yourself yonder.”

Spy sighed. “You know exactly what I mean, bushman.”

Sniper knelt and held a pale, shapely hand in his own, threading their fingers together and pressing a trembling, chaste kiss onto Spy’s bruised knuckles. His old nemesis was coughing and bleeding out on the room of a shabby little shack, yet his heart throbbed a numb pain that seized his words, wanting to hold him tight and tell him sentimental things but he couldn’t.

I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry. He murmured under his irregular breaths and placed their intertwined hands to his own chest. Please don’t go .

Spy’s fingers tightened around his and gave a reassuring squeeze.

He looked into those bloodshot hazel eyes as life drained from them with every passing second and he understood.

“Monsieur, it was a pleasure working with— against you, for what it’s worth.”

Wiping the blood from his lips, he crushed the butt of the cigarette on the floor.

Au revoir .” Spy whispered, the ghost of a smile ruptured through his composure when Rick Mundy leaned in for a kiss.

God, wasn’t he grateful to be alive. He marveled as Sniper deepened the kiss, coaxing out his last breath.

 

--

 

Kong King, 196X.

We have here an ordinary American young man of French origin clad in a disheveled, checkered shirt. Though there were deep, dark circles under, his hazel eyes shined brilliantly as he beamed at his equally young and exhausted roommate, who was presently wiping his eyes with the sleeve of his pajamas.

“Hiyuh Clancy.” His roommate greeted him sleepily, “You didn’t get back from work yesterday. Where’d you go?”

“Delivered a shipment to the REDs.” Clancy could barely hold back his excitement despite his visible tiredness, “You will not believe my luck.”

“Oh, really .” The other man grunted and reached for a metal teapot, “You’re been weird ever since you got a job at Mann Co., Clan. Yesterday you said we would go to Desire’s together and get a few boys, but of course you just never fuckin’ showed up so I had to go with David, I swear to God he’s the most insufferable piece of—”

“No, no. I gotta put this simply, man, I fucked one of them mercenaries .”

The man in pajamas paused, his hand hovering before the stove. “Say what? One of them mers, mer, blah! One of them murderer-freaks ?”

“Nah, not a freak, he’s not like most of ’em.” He smiled from ear to ear, “He’s very… Beautiful, you can say. I finally made him agree to have a quick one with me in his van and all—”

“Beautiful! Bah!” His friend slammed the cupboard door shut and spat, “Them murderers can’t be beautiful . Are you out of your goddamn mind? A van ?”

Clancy ignored him and went on, “You have not a single fucking idea, dude. He told me he came from the down under, just like Mr. Hale but he’s not that built. He’s the one that comes out and retrieves the shipments every month, and I’ve been trying to, y’know, get to him for a while now. And finally I gone and done it yesterday night.”

“Go on.” His roommate fell silent and pretended to read the morning newspaper while listened with feigned disinterest.

“He’s this really tall and handsome man who’s got some real pretty blue eyes, and his voice, God, his voice is fuckin’ liquid orgasm . Shame that he’s not a real talker most of the time.” Clancy’s eyes glazed over in pursuit of his fond memories. “He was a really good fuck, but he made me wear this strange ski mask thing and this suit, some kinda fetish he has I presume.”

“A mask, you said?” The other man took a sip out of his mug and nearly spat it all out, “Aw fuck, it’s still really hot.”

“Yes, thank you. I did look really hot in that outfit, ‘least he said so.” Clancy murmured dreamily, “He’s got a decent package in those boring brown pants too. One of them rare good fucks out there, I feel like I’m almost in love…”

The mug was set down on the glass coffee table forcefully, some of its contents spilled onto the grimy surface.

In love , you say! Why, listen to yourself, you are out of your fucking mind!” The man shouted, “For fuck’s sake, that Australian beauty of yours is a fuckin’ murderer! What if he kills you in your sleep and makes your skin into a handbag? You coulda been dead last night for all that I know! Sleeping with freaks !”

“An’ he asked me to dye my hair a coupla strands of grey, said I would look mature and hot as shit,” Clancy ran his hand through his silky black hair, “Reckon I’d look older with that? Reckon the boys’ll dig it?”

“Dunno. He’s a fucking weirdo, Clancy. You should really stay away from those folks.

“Don’t worry, he’s got a lover already.” Clancy sighed regretfully, “When I asked about the pretty silver earring with that big ass sapphire stone on it, he just flipped and threw me out.”