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The clank of an empty beer bottle hit the wooden table with a slam, merely adding to the already-existing sounds that one would hear in a busy bar. The night was still young, and many customers were just arriving for an evening of drinking and merriment, not paying any attention to the four men wearing matching red shirts in the corner of the smoke-filled room, though each had his own style and design of top that he wore. The Demoman finished his current drink, all the while complaining about cheap American beer while motioning for a nearby waitress to keep the booze coming. It would take more than half a dozen to even begin to give the Scotsman a proper buzz, but he had all damn night to do just that.

It was a typical Friday night, and the members of the RED team had the weekend to themselves. So, after a week’s worth of hellish warfare, what better way to cap it off than to be plastered beyond belief? At least, that was the Demoman’s point of view. Two of the three other men casually sipped at their respective drinks, clamoring on about the week’s jobs while ribbing their youngest member, who simply drank a soda in place of any alcohol. Sure, the Scout was of legal age to partake in spirits; he just chose not to, and the Sniper and Engineer were making light of his personal choice. They were easy to ignore at first, but the more alcohol that met their system, the louder and looser-lipped they became; he just knew his Saturday morning would revolve around holding shoulders in support or sympathy as either male puked their brains into the toilet. Not to mention, the drunker they were, the more distinct their unique accents rolled on their tongues. The poor boy had no idea how he managed to be talked into coming to town with these drunken losers, especially when there were absolutely no hot chicks in this rag-tag shack of a bar to impress. There was the occasional wench parading around, but he preferred his women with teeth and tamed hairstyles, thanks. And, the smoky atmosphere nearly choked him to death, as did the horrible taste in music blaring from the speakers. The Engineer may have been right at home with the country tunes wreaking havoc on their ears, but the boy would choose the superior rock ‘n roll any day!

Still, the other men taunted the youth; even the Demoman chimed in, though he did not care either way so long as his drinks continued to come. The Scout had finally had enough, giving his cloth-wrapped fist a pound into the table, and the three elders went silent.

“Alright, alright, geez!” he yelled, “Just one if it’d getcha offa my back.”

The table returned to its proper volume with cheers and chants from his seniors as the Engineer waved down the same waitress and whispered something into her ear. She nodded and went towards the bar and quickly returned with a shot glass filled with a very topaz-looking drink. The Sniper took it and placed it in front of the boy beside him, who could only stare at the liquid hesitantly as he tried to decide against the better judgment of his jeering comrades and refuse the drink. But, their fists hitting the table in a rhythmic pattern along with chants of ‘chug!’ made him give way to temptation. The Scout was not one to back down from a challenge! His hand gripped the glass and he gave it a quick sniff, making a sour face, but tossed it back and allowed the drink to scorch the back of his throat and trail to his belly where it felt as if a Pyro had just torched him from the mouth down. The Scout gave a huge gasp as his hands took to his throat and he sputtered, much to the delight of his teammates. The Australian placed an arm about the boy and brought him to his own chest, taking his other hand and ruffling it into his hair; in his eyes, the youth had officially just become a man.

“What---What the hell was that, man?” The youngest male wheezed as his eyes rolled back into his skull.

“A Fireball, son,” the Engineer laughed as he took a swig of his own drink.

“A Fireball for a fireball, eh, lad?” The Demoman spoke as he slapped his own knee in amusement. Drunkards seemed to think themselves as regular comedians at times.

“Argh, you guys suck!” the boy retorted, pushing the hunter away from him in disgust. “Think you’re real funny? Give me another!”

That challenge seemed to settle the men down as they took to whispers to one another, then all nodded in agreement, and another round was brought to the boy. The first set his body on fire in ways he could not explain, with its rich, cinnamon flavor tingling his mouth, though it did have something of a delightful aftertaste. And, he could not deny the light feelings coursing through him, giving the boy a sense of comfort and carelessness for everything around him. Maybe a second one would be fine…

Again, the Scout threw the glass back, and the burn started again, though not as harshly as the first time. The glass hit the table and his chin rose in victory though his face began to turn a shade of pink. Upon seeing the shocked expressions of the other three men, the boy’s mouth twisted into a mischievous grin.


“No, no, mate, you’ve definitely ‘ad enough,” the Sniper spoke, his hands raised in front of his chest as the other two elders simply sipped at their drinks, pretending to ignore the boy lest he get riled up enough to cause a scene. Neither put it past the kid.

And, that’s exactly what the Scout did as he began causing a ruckus that grabbed the attention of nearby patrons. At least, until a wave of euphoria over came him, and he simply melted into the booth beneath him and a goofy, blank smile about his reddening face as his comrades gave those around them apologetic grins. His fist continued to lightly rap on the table as he begged for a third drink still, though his words were nothing more than mumbles and grunts. It was definitely time to put the youngest member to bed. The Sniper, in seeing the other men clearly uninterested in leaving the bar at such an early hour, sighed and rose from his seat. He grabbed the Scout’s limp arm and dragged him to his feet, also taking his hat from the table and setting it upon his head properly. He gave a curt nod to his traitorous team mates as he wrapped his arms around the smaller torso and practically carried the Scout towards the door. The hunter had to stop momentarily to rearrange his grip on the boy so that he could clamp a hand over his mouth as he decided to sing along to the music from the corner jukebox. He received nothing but laughter from the entirety of the room as he stumbled beyond the door with the limp body in one arm.


Fortunately for the Sniper, his camper was within reasonable distance. He hauled the boy onto his shoulder and proceeded to stalk across the dirt-laced parking lot as he cursed beneath his breath at a perfect evening ruined. He only had himself and his other co-workers to blame, though, so it might as well have been his responsibility to get the Scout back to the barracks safely.

A quick flip of his keys, and the two men were now within the confines of his home-on-wheels with the door securely locked behind them. He flicked on a lamp and took the boy to his bed where he was unceremoniously plopped into messy sheets. The Scout only giggled in reply and wriggled about on the mattress.

“No, settle down and go to sleep,” he warned the younger male as he pressed the body back down when the boy attempted to rise.

“I wanna ‘nother drink!” sputtered the youth in reply, and began giggling again, giving a hiccup between laughs. Everything was just so damn funny and his body was tingling like crazy! He reached up and snagged the elder’s yellow-tinted glasses and placed them upon his nose, though slightly crooked and far too big for his smaller face. “Oooh, lookit me, I’m tha Sniper! I piss in jars and play wit’ koalas all day long! G’day, mate!”

“Stop it, ya bloody welp!”

“Make me!”

The Scout bellowed in laughter as he kept the glasses from the hunter’s reach, wallowing in the bed sheets to keep them just out of his reach. Losing patience and nursing the beginning of a headache, the Sniper crawled atop the bed and sat on the boy’s thighs to hold him still, looming over and snatching his eyewear from the drunken fool. There was a moment of silence as he returned them to his own face, and the youth lowered his eyelids slightly and formed a goofy grin.


“What do you---“

The Sniper’s words were halted as the boy grabbed at his neck and pulled him down, engulfing the elder’s lips in his own. For a moment, the hunter was dumb-founded, but a moment of clarity came through long enough for the man to pull himself out of the boy’s grasp. He hurried and removed himself from the bed, much to the dismay of the Scout now lying with a pout painting his lips. The taller male worked out the wrinkles in his shirt as he attempted to gather his wits about him. He pointed an accusing finger at the wretched boy.

“You stay right the ‘ell there. You’re way too drunk! I’m never takin’ you out for drinks again, you hear me?”

And, with that, the frazzled man removed himself from the camper’s backside and jumped into the driver’s seat of the vehicle, locking the doors and reclining his seat back, as he would not be sleeping in his own bed tonight with a crazed and intoxicated loon occupying it. He gave a huff and reached for his pack of cigarettes from his vest pocket and mumbled about needing a drink to clear his head. Had he stayed with the Scout a moment longer, he would have heard a stifled laugh and seen the smirk of a very smug individual now rolling over for a good night of uninterrupted sleep. There would be no more lame bar scenes with ugly women and cheap beer in his near-future, thanks to that little prank; however, the kid would not be complaining.

“Gotcha, ya bastard.”