You like your crew. You really, really do. Hell, you have to, to have stuck with them since evacuating Prospit (fuzzy and distant as that memory was).
But there were some days. Some days. You just couldn’t deal with Innovator’s infinite insomnia, his need for everything in a particular way, and his usual wandering mind. And Delinquent, sheesh, you and him could hold a conversation just fine on a good day, and yeah, you got along better after a certain incident with a certain ex-landlord/hardboiled gumshoe/political candidate, but that didn’t change the fact that he was a big stupid idiot with no imagination who kept eating your goddamned candy corn. Sometimes, you were lucky, and the two were perfectly content with hanging out together while you kept your distance, but no, not this week. AD was just a little too rude, or PI was a little too sensitive, and now they were being all passive-aggressive with each other (however much AD could be passive and PI be aggressive, that is). Just. Bluh, no.
So you needed space. You needed to find a sympathetic ear for your team woes, but anything Needy Bird heard would get back to Innovator, while Heinous Doxy was out of the question. Oh, she’d listen, sure, but she always wanted to give advice, or offer to beat someone up, or use the whole thing as an excuse to knock over a jewellery store for old time’s sake, and dammit, sometimes you just wanted someone who could just take it without trying to help at all.
After that thought, for some weird reason, you find yourself standing outside of Snooping Scout’s apartment building.
Well, it makes sense, you figure by the time you make it to his door: He’s also the leader of a merry band of misfit assholes who somehow get along despite conflicting personalities. Surely he’s had bad days with them too, and surely he could just agree with you once you start swapping stories. Or, more likely, call you a fucking moron and a psychopath and tell you to get the hell out, but somehow it beat Doxy’s accidental guilt trips.
You test the doorknob slowly, so it doesn’t make a loud obvious rattle noise if it’s - yep, it’s locked. Easily fixed, since you can do the shadowy thing and teleport, something you’ve done so many times you really don’t have to think about the process too much to do it, and you move yourself from the hallway to the middle of Scout’s livingroom.
His pad is a small place, so his living room is more ‘that big area that wasn’t his kitchen, that served as a dining room when he had people over’. Other than two fans, old and beat up and maybe pulled out of a junk pile, it looked like he wasn’t home. Oh, except for the light coming from under the crack at the bottom of the bathroom door. As you silently approach, you can hear splashing noises. You smile, because that’s adorable, he’s playing in the bath.
Instead of barging in then, you loiter by the door and try to figure out what exactly he’s doing. You pick up mouth-noises representing gunshots, squealing tires, and high-speed impacts. You hear frantic radio-chatter, and bravado-filled denial for backup.
Oh my god, what a dork.
Not the least because he’s on the lame side of the carch
It’s been long enough that you’re starting to feel kind of creepy just standing there. You came over to vent, anyway, which you just can’t do on the other side of the door. That’s just stupid! Besides, you know exactly how you’re going to appear:
Casual entrances are one of your favourites, so even though that teleporting business puts a strain on your mind, you make sure to act distracted and nonchalant when you materialize on the back of Scout’s toilet.
“Man, do you ever have one of those days, Scout?” you sigh as he sputters and starts flailing around in the water, “Where like, even your super awesome amazing team is just at each other’s throats? I mean, I know I’m a fuckin’ boss, but sometimes I just cannot deal with their bullshit.”
Whoops, turned out that flailing wasn’t flailing, it was Scout scrambling for a knife he apparently just kept with his bathing supplies. You’ve tangoed enough times with Scout to read the throw before his hand even completes the arc, though, and you lean out of the way easily. As if that didn’t happen, you continue:
“I mean PI and AD get along okay normally, like, AD can be kind of surly and PI is sometimes a little sensitive but they normally don’t-”
“Get the fuck out of my house, Scofflaw!”
You raise your eyebrow, “House? Wow, Scout, I didn’t know your imagination stat was high enough for pretend.”
There’s another knife flying at your head, and whoops didn’t think he’d keep two of the things buried between bottles of soap or whatever, but you’re still able to duck it. Erm, mostly: when you sit back up, your head feels a little cooler, and looking over your shoulder reveals another stylin’ hat has lost its life to the cause of fucking with Scout.
“Aww, asshole,” you whine, looking from the ruined hat to Scout.
Scout is of course unapologetic, and also is holding yet another knife. This one is a straight razor, which at least had more business in a bathroom than the throwing-knives you just dodged (even if it looked like Scout barely knew how to use for its intended purpose).
“Man, where are you even hiding all of those?” you ask.
You’ve introduced your presence already, and to be honest, you didn’t really think you and Scout would end up talking shop anyway, so you drop the whole ‘seeking advice’ act. Yes, that’s totally a conscious decision and not in any way influenced by how easy it is to piss off Scout, and how hilarious he is when he’s mad.
“Get. The fuck. Out,” he says through his teeth.
You cross your arms, and make a show of looking around the bathroom.
“Who even keeps this many knives in a bathroom? You’re crazy.”
Scout rolls his eye, but it’s back on you in a second.
“Well evi-fucking-dently, I need ‘em!”
He raises the knife and halfway gets out of the bathtub, and since he’s just shouting more of the same ‘get the fuck out’ song and dance, your mind wanders and hey, that’s when you notice he’s in his shorts. You raise your eyebrow, and between that and the look you give him when you raise your head, he gets it. You press anyway, ‘cause it’s annoying(funny).
“Fuck you, it’s fucking hot out,” he snarls.
You’re about to retort, but then it clicks. Hey, the streets did seem kind of unpopulated today (you were on a very rare diurnal schedule this week, mostly thanks to the bickering dumbasses), AD looked grosser than usual, the weather was a little dry...
“Huh,” you say instead.
More things click together - anyone would irritable if they were a horrible sweaty mass like AD, while PI practically had the core temperature of an ice cube, so it felt, so maybe that shadow magic bullshit they did had more side effects than they thought. In any case, this difference in perception could probably fuel a few arguments on its own, and huh, how d’you like that - Scout did help you with your problems.
You may be deep in thought, but never deep enough to be caught off guard - when Scout swings the knife at you, you just lean back and block him by the forearm, and in the next instant you have him by the wrist. Of course, Scout is out of the bathtub by now to make a shot like that, and between that and your new revelation, you have an idea. After all, you dabble in the shadowy arts too, right?
You don’t announce it, you just smirk at Scout like you’re planning something (which you are, by the way). You bring your free hand to your mouth and pull your glove off with your teeth, and while Scout’s trying to figure you out, you slide off the toilet tank and into his personal space.
“Gee, Scout, I had no idea,” you say cheerily and press your frigid hand against his lower back.
Scout doesn’t stiffen so much as go ramrod straight, and the two of you nearly smack heads because of it. You hear the razor clatter to the floor, though, so now you have a choice as to which hand you’re going to free Scout from first. You get about as far as wondering how long your hand will stay cold anyway before your vision gets sparky for a second.
Your head hurts a lot and that’s when you figured you were just punched by Scout, by his robot arm, because he’s a jerk like that, and you managed to half-fall into the tub to boot. In the few seconds you were senseless, Scout had stopped freaking out enough to actually do something, that being holding you under with his natural hand (see above: huge jerk, bluh bluh, etc). You just roll your eyes though - you still have a shadow schema or two left, no big deal, and you’re pretty sure you’re not going to need them anyway. Carefully, you reach behind you with your ungloved hand. You can at least sense body heat enough to figure out where Scout’s legs are, but you don’t touch him yet - you raise your hand up as far as you can, then you do it, catching him by his thigh. You can hear his muted swearing and he leaps away, leaving you free to push yourself out of the water.
Because you’re too cool to feel threatened by Scout no matter how many knives he pulls on you in a day or how close he’s come to drowning you, you just kind of roll over and sit against the tub with your arms hanging over the edge, and you laugh at Scout.
“C’mon, I thought you wanted to cool off,” you say, grinning.
Scout just flips you off with one hand and pulls a switchblade from his toothbrush holder with the other.
You meet the challenge by pulling off your other glove. Scout narrows his eye; you wiggle your fingers in a threatening manner.
Yes, far better and far more hardboiled than stewing with your team’s shit in the lair
or fake car chases.