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We'll Always Be Together In The End

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Timeline: Blood Gulch-Approx. 1 week Before the Tank Incident


Richard “Dick” Simmons was not crazy. He was almost sure of it. It wasn’t like he heard voices.

It was just… one voice. And it was more like his own, then anything else, he often tried to reassure himself.

So, maybe, this “voice”, or, whatever the hell it was, had different ideas, or opinions, then he did about stuff, sometimes. But, it wasn’t like it had ever... erm... periodically, taken him over when he was under too much pressure, or anything...

Right?

Right?!

["This flip-flopping bullshit is getting worse every damn day,” Richard mused, “It’s kinda gettin' fuckin’ hilarious.”]

Simmons pretended he didn’t hear him. Instead, he chuckled nervously to himself, as he thought, and obsessed, and worried. He did find himself speaking his thoughts aloud an awful lot, but the voice he, sometimes, heard talking back (He was back to refusing to name him…er…it, again.) was in his head, normally. Oh shit! He was stuck on that one. Wasn’t the saying that you were only crazy if you talk to the voice in your head, and it answers you back?!

["Ri-ch-ard. It should not be so hard to remember, Simmons, seriously. I mean, ya know, considering..."
“Shut up!," Simmons growled, "You’re so fucking sarcastic today!... Uh… I, mean… Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”]

He thought that it had just been (Even in his mind, and thoughts, he lowered his tone to a whisper.) a comfort, at first, but as the years had passed, it had gotten gradually more separate, and more angry. And Simmons wasn’t even always sure why.

Then... there were the headaches…

["And Simmons, don’t forget! Those are an actual documented fact. People, like us, inevitably suffer from, at times, debilitating"-
“I’m not listening, Richard! You’re. NOT. REAL!”]

…It honestly felt like they were located right in the place Richard…

["Better!," the Alter praised.]

… Um… the voice lived, or came out of.

["Oh, I frickin’ give up!," Richard was so done with this damn brat, "Talk to me when you get your shit together!"]

Simmons went back to worrying... Christ! Maybe he had a undiagnosed brain tumor! Probably originating from the cerebellum, which was also known to be the part of the brain that controlled sensory perception, coordination, and motor control…

["Sensory…?," Richard just sounded confused, "That doesn’t seem to be a very logical way of looking at it, overall... Dammit! I forgot. I’m not talking to you.... Asshole."]

…It would explain so much! But, that would be the worst! He wouldn’t be able to perform his duties, and there was LITERALLY no one legitimately qualified to cover for Simmons while he got treatment, or surgery, or whatever. And what would Sarge say? He’d be so disappointed in him! Oh, fuuuck, he was going to be sick. He was going to, actually, be sick, as in puke, in his helmet.

He groaned aloud.

And, Grif finally spoke up from his place in the shade where he had been pretending to be sound asleep, but had actually only been half-dozing while he kept an eye on his fruitcake teammate, who'd been pacing rapidly back and forth while murmuring to himself.

When Simmons got like this, and it didn’t happen that often (It seemed to get especially bad when he’d had too much time to himself.), but when it did, he even seemed to welcome Grif’s laziness and lethargy. As if he thought he could completely hide his mental breakdown, or whatever the fuck, as long as Grif was snoozing.

Shit.

It'd be entertaining if it wasn’t so damn... strange.

“Yo, dude,” Grif called to him in a bored tone. He was only a few yards away, but there were two very important things Grif knew about dealing with this massive neurotic nerd.

Especially, when he got all “weird”.

1.Try not to yell, or talk too loud. As it would, likely, startle or freak Simmons the fuck out, and then the dude was more than likely to spaz out, jump a foot in the air, and try to shoot you on reflex (Thank Christ for power armor.) And…

2. …What was 2, again? Grif hummed under his breath sleepily and thoughtfully.

He stifled a yawn.

Hmmm…ah, fuck it.

Shrugging to himself, he attempted to wake up a bit more, and try again.

“Hey, Kissass? Come over here.” He put just the tiniest hint of command into his voice. It didn’t take much for Simmons, at all. Particularly, when he was like this.

And, sure enough, Private Asskisser Extraordinaire started toward him.

Grif looked up at him from his semi-comfortable lounging position as Simmons stopped directly in front of him.

Still looking fidgety, and shaken. Clutching his gun a little too tightly.

The orange soldier's eyes slipped half-shut as he silently thought, and he acknowledged to himself that the fact that this act alone hadn’t caused Simmons to blow up at him, when he hated being called away from duties for no discernible reason, was proof that the kissass really wasn’t doing so hot. I mean, yeah, yeah, Grif had already, pretty much known that due to the whole…whatever the hell thing he kept witnessing now and again.

And, how in the fuck did the others not notice, anyway? Maybe they just didn’t give a shit. Not saying that he did, but…

Grif didn’t know why he even bothered, or “cared”, particularly when he took into account the fucked-up way Simmons acted toward him some of the time. So fucking quick to turn on him… He could be a real two-faced son of a bitch. But, still, here Grif was. He guessed that, if he bothered to try to puzzle it out -And what the hell, else was Grif supposed to do during his rare lucid hours, but contemplate pretty boy repressed neurotics? Fuck if he knew- it was like one of those stupid ass things where you thought you recognized something of yourself in someone who was so opposite to you, or some such dumb shit.

Whatever.

He didn’t give a shit about why he gave a shit…

Shit!

He did know that it cut into his naptime, sometimes, and that made him cranky as hell. But someone had to keep an eye on the nerd. I mean, goddammit! Things had gotten so outta hand that Grif had had to talk to Sarge .

Sarge, for fuck’s sake!

It had gone about as well as could be expected…

❋ Grif Reluctantly Approaches Sarge With An... An Issue ❋

"Hey, Sarge?,” Grif had wandered up to the man while he and Lopez were putting the finishing touches on…something…outside the Base that the CO insisted was a “state of the art murder ray that could wipe out those pesky Blues…and reheat a nice cuppa Sarsaparilla”! It just looked like a pile of scrap metal to Grif, but he’d thought that before to his deep regret.

“Ah, Pvt. Grif,” Sarge boomed out, “I’m glad ta’ see ya, boy! ”

“You…you are?,” Grif couldn’t quite keep the incredulity out of his voice.

“‘A course,” he intoned assuredly, “Your fat, worthless carcass will be the perfect test dummy for my new cosmic death ray…Get it? Cause you’re a worthless dummy!”

The orange armored soldier sighed, “Why do I even bother?”

Lopez cut in, in his broken, robotic Spanish that no one understood. {"Si. Why do you bother? We are busy doing that which you do not understand…Work. Go flirt with the maroon one, instead of bothering us."}

“Suuure, Lopez. That is my favorite thing. I’ll get riiight on that.”

{"Dios Mio! Did you actually understand me?... No. It must be like the monkeys with typewriters experiment. With enough time, something of intelligence will come out, though not through actual intelligent means."}

“Yeah, yeah, you’re a frickin’ riot…,” Grif shifted uncomfortably, and finally asked the question that had brought him, against his better judgment, out here in the first place, with his insane CO, and his pet robot, “…um…Sarge?”

“Spit it out, dirtbag! I know how you ladies like chewin’ the fat, but you’re talkin’ ta' two men here!”

“Uhhh…,” Grif looked from the short, stocky Red leader to his tall, robotic son/creation, and back again, biting back a sarcastic retort.

“Sarge, I was wondering…if you’d noticed anything…uh, weird…with Simmons?”

’Weird’, you say…Weird, how?,” Sarge questioned thoughtfully, and, then, he almost howled out, excitedly, “Holy Jehoshaphat! Was he secretly kidnapped, an’ brainwashed by those no good dastardly Blues! I knew this would happen ta’ one of my boys sooner or later. Oh, I’m fit ta’ be tied!” He hummed eagerly.

“Look, Sarge,” Grif tried again, “I could be napping, right now, and I know it’s hard to believe, but I am really trying to be serious here. You should be able to tell that by the fact that I’m, ya know, actually awake at this time of the morning.”

{"Humans should not bother to attempt things beyond their skill level. And, it is noon."}

“Can it, Lopez. And as for you, Pvt. Grif!,” Sarge barked out at him, “I always knew you were an idiot, but I never woulda ‘spected you ta’ be stupid, ta’ boot!”

“...Huh?”

“Blue Brainwashing is serious, dirtbag!,” His voice lowered to emphasize his point, “Deadly. Serious.”

“Well, yeah, but that’s not what I’m talking about here…”

“Didn’t they teach you, gals, nothin’ in Basic, other than how ta’ braid each other’s pigtails?!”

“You know what? Fuck it.” Grif gave up in disgust, and turned around to walk away,…fuck ‘em, he’d figure this bullshit out himself like he did everything else…but the familiar *Chung-Chung* of Sarge cocking his shotgun froze him in place.

{"Padre, do not waste your bullets. I will retrieve the worthless son for you."}

“How’s about you just keep an’ eye on ‘em, Pvt. Grif?”

The private turned slowly back around. “Is that an order, Sir?” He tacked on the last word, sardonically as hell.

The older man chuckled, as he lined up his most useless soldier in his sights, “Nah. I reckon if it was, ya wouldn’t do it.”

“Hmph,” Grif snorted, “You really know me too well.”

“Do need someone ta’ be able ta’ tell me where my second in command, after Lopez a’ course, is at all times, though. In case those Blue scoundrels try ta’ compromise ‘em.”

“Sure, that makes sense,” Grif tried to hide his deep sense of relief, even from himself, behind a careless shrug.

Maybe if he could keep the nerd distracted with bullshit, he could be kept from spacing out, and doing something dumb as fuck. Like wandering into Blue base, doing all their laundry, and color-coding their underwear drawers, before they shot him in the ass. Hell, Grif could just do nothing, and if Simmons was near enough that it caught his attention, he’d be too busy bitchin’ and moanin' about what a lazy asshole Grif was to get…all up in his head. Sounded like a great way to chill, and…look out for…ya know... damn kissass, an’ stuff… What could Grif say? He guessed that all the years of taking care of Kai had made him sensitive to flighty behavior. Who knew? Whatever.

“Now, skedaddle!,” Sarge commanded, “Those traitorous Blues could already have him in their filthy Blue clutches!”

“I’m going, geez, I’m going, already.”

*Chung-Chung* “What was that, soldier?”

“I said, I’m going already, Sir.” Grif’s voice practically dripped sarcasm.

“That’s what I thought you said.”

Sarge lowered his shotgun, as Grif ambled off in search of Simmons.

And, Lopez caught the smile in his Padre-Creator’s voice, as he sent Grif off with a parting, “Dirtbag”.

{"I thought you hated the worthless orange one, and just used the broken maroon one for his superior intellect, and ideas. Why does this not always seem to be true? This does not follow with my programming."}

Lopez sounded as surprised, and confused, as a robot with a developing AI could sound. So, in Sarge’s words…half to middlin’.

“Yeah, Lopez. Don’t I know it. One’s a nut, an’ the other one’s a bonehead pain in the keister,” Sarge let out a dramatic sigh, and shook his head, “Kids these days. Whatcha gonna do? Oh, well…” He rubbed his hands together delightedly, “Let’s finish this baby up! No more dilly dallyin’. If we git it done quick enough, maybe we can still use Grif as target practice. He’s a slow-ass soma bitch.”

{"Okay. But, if you accidently blow him up this time, I am not picking up his pieces. I do not know if his body has had all its shots."}

“Good man! Let’s get crackin’!”

❋❋❋❋❋❋❋❋❋❋


So, yeah, that had been fuckin’ fan-tastic. Grif was just grateful that he had somehow managed to get far enough away before his goddamn psychopathic CO had started test-firing his “cosmic ray”. The idea that he had actually called him back, cajolingly, trying to get him to “just come on back, now, an’ stand just ‘round about…there!” And, then, Sarge’d actually been pissed when Grif had yelled back, “No, thanks! I got "orders" or somethin' to follow, man- I mean, Sir.”

That’d been fun, alright. If almost having a laser burn your ass off could be considered “fun”. Shit.

Grif sighed, and realized that Simmons was still in his weird-ass headspace, even though he was standing less than a foot from Grif’s lounging, stretched out form. He, normally, would’ve, at the very least, bitched Grif out for being a lazyass son of a bitch, by now.

Grif opened his mouth to say… something. He wasn’t really sure what it was going to be, yet, but that had never stopped him before. And that is when Simmons, out of the damn clear blue red sky (Sarge’s madness is spreading. Fuck!), very seriously, and a little desperately, asked, “Grif?...Do you think… I’m crazy?”

… Oh. My. God.