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I'll Tell You What They Say (If You Ask)

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MacCready didn’t know it was any different for the other kids. 


He remembers loving comic books, the book itself narrating to him the panels, voices and everything. Bumble crying and coming up to him asking where her stuffed bunny was, and him quietly asking her if she asked the bunny where it was. 


She looked at him past her wet eyelashes and asked, “What do you mean?”


He’d pinched one thumb between his other and realised maybe stuff didn’t talk to the others the way it spoke to him. 


He doesn’t talk about it again. 


When Sticky hands him a gun and tells him to aim at the target and hit the bullseye, he hits it first time. Sticky blinks and asks him where the hell he learned to do that. He misses on purpose the second time. 


All he did was ask the gun to help the bullet hit the target. 


The guns in Little Lamplight had told him when they needed to be cleaned, the books Joseph had would narrate themselves to him. 


He remembers when Princess shoved her journal in his hands and moved to declare herselves their leader 


Her journal begged him not to let it happen, told him the things she had planned for them.


He punched her in the face and was elected their mayor. 




It’s an empty thing, wandering among objects abandoned. They say nothing. Sometimes he’ll pick something up that a scavenger has been through, and a whisper of a feeling will bleed out. Usually loneliness. 


He hates picking up other people’s weapons. 


He’s found that things will often take on the personality of those that owned them. And raider weapons? Angry, hateful, murderous blood lust filled tools for death. He grabs their bullets and doesn’t bother selling the weapon itself. 


His own gun was a friend, every shot hits. 


He builds up a reputation.


He snipes for money and never tells Lucy. He marries her, putting a flower in her hair that told him it was her favourite. 


He didn’t tell her he killed for caps and if he couldn’t tell her that he figured telling her that he knew the stimpak was cracked before she opened it because it told him it was also a little far out too. 




He could force objects to do things if he needed too. He could force a lock to open or a gun to give up it’s bullets. But it hurt and he usually had a headache for a while after.


Things that liked him though would sometimes work without him asking. His gun would flick the safety on without him. His canteen would tell him if his water was contaminated. Sometimes even if he was nice to things only once they’d respond in kind. The lonely objects remembering how he handled them softly and watching out for him as well.



He remembers being tired. He and Lucy hid in an empty substation to wait out a storm and he remembers an echoing. He couldn’t quite pin down the emotion but he remembers being too tired to want to take the time. Duncan was crying again, and it was his turn to feed him. 


When the ferals came he realised the emotion was fear. A warning etched into every part of station and he’d fucking missed it. 


“Don’t let them take him-!”


He’d reached back for her and it was too late, the ferals were too close. 


He ran with Duncan, forcing ticket gates to lock up and security doors to slam shut, trying to slow the ferals behind him. Desperately starting a protectron without touching the terminal as he hopped the turnstiles. 


When they reached safety he couldn’t hear. He looked at Duncan screaming in his arms and only ringing echoed in his ears as the pounding of his head took him to his knees. He started to unwrap Duncan thinking he was bleeding when he realised it was the blood coming from his ears and nose dripping onto his blanket. 


He woke up in a settlement. A patrol had found him. The bed told him he was safe here, his gun assured him it was near. His wedding ring said nothing, like it was mourning too.




He had planned on charging Aaliyah his full price when the pipboy on her wrist told him she needed him. She wouldn’t last without him. Her glasses told him she couldn’t see well, that originally they didn’t belong to her but she was trying. 


Her belongings speaking on her behalf the way the gunners’ things used warned him. When he’d ignored the stolen knife in the gunner recruiters belt that it didn’t belong to the gunner he hadn’t listened. 


When her wedding ring sat in the same mournful silence as the one in his shirt pocket, and he ended up following her out of the Third Rail.




He liked most of Aaliyah’s friends. He’d flirted with Piper in a way that was more out of familiarity than real. (Her hat told him she thought it was funny. He didn’t mind being funny. It made her smile.)


Hancock’s inhalers told him when to tell Hancock he’d had a little too much and when to take Hancock to bed. Hancock’s bed told him it would let him know if he needed help during the night. 


Most of them had objects or belongings that told of their true nature. Deacon’s sunglasses told him he meant well and Preston’s scarf that he was sadder than he let on. 


Danse’s power armor singed about him. How well the BoS soldier took care of him, keeping him maintained and how Danse would quietly talk to it in battle. “Get us home,” or “I promise I’ll buff that out.” 


MacCready thinks maybe his power armor takes as good of care of him as his gun takes care of MacCready. 




The reactor core told him it was going to explode before it told the suit. He ran up behind Danse and pulled it, throwing it at the gunners pinning them down. He heard it apologise before it exploded. 


Danse looked back at him, covered in dirt and blood on the ground where the suit had ejected him. He shrugged and helped Danse up and kept firing. 

His gun took out the gunner who had hit his fusion reactor immediately. MacCready knew now what he hadn’t as a kid. Bullets don’t normally curve like that.




He helps Danse get the power armor home. The power armor seems shocked that the core exploded. MacCready mentally reassures it that it couldn’t have stopped that bullet, it wasn’t its fault. Danse is ok. 


“Uh, soldi- MacCready,” Danse says, trying to get his attention. He never has seemed quite sure how to address MacCready. “My sensor didn’t indicate to me that the core was about to go. You touched it only moments before you couldn’t have anymore.” 


He knew the power armor’s eject didn’t work quite right. He knew the power armor was embarrassed about it. 


He knew that he had saved Danse’s life. 


“How did you know?” 


MacCready shrugged and fell back on his usual excuse for things that didn’t quite make sense about him since he had arrived in the Commonwealth. “Something I learned back in the Capital Wastes.”


Danse didn’t push it.




Well, Danse didn’t push it at first. But then he almost fricking died again. 


The leg joint of his armor froze up as a super mutant suicider headed for him. MacCready didn’t think, he just blindly fired his rifle. 


The bullet hit the super mutant between the eyes. 


When the rest of their group helped clear everything out and get set up for the night Danse found him again. 


“MacCready, may I have a moment of your time?”


He wanted to tell him to buzz off, leave him alone and let him clean his gun. He had a feeling Danse wouldn’t listen anyway so he just gestures to the spot next to him. 


“You were to the right of me during the encounter.” Danse states it as a fact because it is a fact. He had helped MacCready climb into his snipers nest before the assault had begun.


He shrugs, “Lucky shot.”


Danse stares at him for a long time, long enough MacCready manages to finish cleaning his rifle, it earned it, and starts putting his kit back together.


Danse clears his throat to get his attention once more, he looks, half crouched to stand and head back to his tent, “You don’t make sense.”


MacCready shrugs, “Not everything makes sense, Danse.”


He can feel Danse’s eyes on him, hear him walking up behind him. He doesn’t reach out to touch MacCready, but MacCready’s canteen tells him he does start too. 


MacCready half turns and looks up to meet his eyes that are shaded by the shadows the firepit is throwing. 


Danse tilts his head, “You’ve saved my life.” and the smile around the corner of his mouth his so small, MacCready almost misses it, “You’re lucky I like mysteries.”


MacCready’s pillow teases him for how much he ends up blushing into it.